UK: National Glass Centre reopens after revamp

The UK’s National Glass Centre reopened on 29 June after an important refit aiming to create a cultural centre, as well as attracting works from some of the world’s most renowned glass artists.
The centre, which is located in Sunderland, on the north-east coast, also has new electric furnaces in the centre’s Hot Glass Studio, which it is hoped will improve its environmental sustainability and reduce its carbon footprint.

The National Glass Centre, located in Sunderland, north-east UK, reopened on 29 June after work was completed on a GBP 2.3 million refit. The venue will still remain free of charge to visitors and will have a range of new exhibitions and workshops.
The aim of the revamp was to create a cultural centre, as well as attracting works from some of the world’s most renowned glass artists.
New gallery spaces have been created, as well as a special permanent exhibition charting the story of glassmaking in the city.
James Bustard, director of the centre, said: “There will be no entrance admission and our car park will remain free of charge too.”
As well as the new gallery spaces, the money has helped buy new electric furnaces in the centre’s Hot Glass Studio, which it is hoped will improve its environmental sustainability and reduce its carbon footprint.
Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “The reopening of National Glass Centre after such an ambitious refurbishment programme represents investment in our arts, investment in our heritage and continued investment in our city as an international cultural venue for world-class exhibitions and events.”
“It also provides the people of Sunderland with a valuable educational and community asset for everyone to enjoy, and which helps future generations remember and celebrate the traditional skills which helped establish this city as an international centre for artistic learning and development.”
Bustard, director for the past two and a half years, added: “People might have been disappointed with their experience here in the past but I don’t think that will happen in the future.”