The National Glass Centre (NGC), part of UniSpace Sunderland, will undergo a £2.25m refurbishment and redevelopment project beginning this month, which will double the capacity of exhibitions and events space at the centre.
The NGC has attracted £750,000 from the Arts Council England Capital Programme, £337,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £50,000 from the Foyle Collection, as well as £975,000 investment from the University of Sunderland.
In addition to the redevelopment project, the investment will also contribute to the cost of new electric furnaces in the centre’s integrated Hot Glass Studio, which can be used for demonstrations and workshops during events held at the venue, improving the centre’s environmental sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint.
The upgrade plans for the centre, which has been closed to the public since 1 January 2013, will allow the venue to host large international events and exhibitions, as well as developing the education and resource rooms.
“The second phase of the refurbishment project will allow us to add yet more value to the events we host as well as strengthening our push to an international market,” says Commercial Services Manager for UniSpace Sunderland, Sharon Olver.
James Bustard, Director of the NGC, adds: “We are delighted that our partners at Arts Council England, The Heritage Lottery Fund and The Foyle Foundation have recognised the potential of the NGC and invested so significantly in its future. The investment will strengthen the centre’s reputation as a centre for excellence and enable us to play a major role in the growing cultural landscape of the city of Sunderland and celebrate the city’s rich glass-making heritage.”
The project is due for completion in the summer of 2013.
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