A Lichfield councillor has added his voice to the calls for the Staffordshire Hoard to return to the county.
The Anglo-Saxon treasure – which was found by Burntwood man Terry Herbert – is currently being valued at the British Museum after going on display for a short period at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
However, no decision has yet been made over the long-term home for the gold artefacts.
But Cllr Matthew Ellis (Cons, Shenstone) believes Staffordshire is the rightful home to the treasure – and that even a residence nearby in Birmingham would not be suitable.
Cllr Ellis, who is also a County Councillor for Lichfield Rural East, explained:
“The news [of the find] has started somewhat of a stampede as to who can get their hands on the Staffordshire Hoard with Birmingham City Council going out of their way to see the collection displayed permanently in their city centre and Stoke believing they should be the custodians.
“Then, of course, there’s the British Museum and bearing in mind that most things of any significance seem to default back to the south and our London capital. All I know is that it is absolutely right that we, as the County Council, are utterly determined to keep our county’s heritage in Staffordshire. To me Birmingham’s usual regional argument just doesn’t wash.
“So, at the moment, plans are afoot at the County Council to find a suitable secure home within Staffordshire’s borders while at the same time developing plans to turn what would be the very significant financial investment needed to keep the find here into the enormous potential of a new and timely mini economy for our county for many years to come.”
Cllr Ellis also believes Staffordshire’s residents have their part to play in keeping the Hoard in the county. He said:
“The more public support for it staying here the more the chance it will, rather than ending up in Birmingham or London.”