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National Glass Centre

National Glass Centre

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National Glass Centre at the University of Sunderland is a cultural attraction and venue with a difference. With glass at the heart of everything they do, they reflect Sunderland’s glass making heritage and celebrate the work of contemporary artists working at the cutting edge of their field.

Glass making is a key element in the history of Sunderland, bringing together its religious, social and industrial heritage. Discover the origins, growth and legacy of glass making in Sunderland with their permanent exhibition, Stories of Glass in Sunderland. Using compelling personal stories from local people and striking audio visual display, this interactive exhibition traces the history of glass making in the City from the 7th Century to the present day.

National Glass Centre’s gallery spaces host their international exhibitions programme, which presents the work of leading contemporary artists in glass and ceramics.

Their popular, free glass blowing demonstrations run throughout the day and families can explore their exhibition spaces with themed tours and treasure hunts and play on their iconic glass roof. Family activities as well as adult courses and classes run throughout the year providing hands-on glass experiences.

National Glass Centre’s Shop stocks a fantastic range of glass, ceramics and jewellery, with their new Made in Sunderland range celebrating the work of local artists. Choose the perfect souvenir for your day out!

Visitors can enjoy fantastic local food in the beautiful riverside surroundings of The Glass Yard which is is open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea as well as the legendary Sunday lunch. Every month during the summer they host live music evening events and you can even get married there!

National Glass Centre – Reflecting our past; igniting our future.

Useful Information

Opening Hours

In light of government measures to control the spread of Covid-19 virus, National Glass Centre and Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art will remain closed to the public until further notice.

National Glass Centre shop has now reopened:


Tuesday CLOSED

Wednesday CLOSED

Thursday CLOSED

Friday 10:00 - 16:00

Saturday 10:00 - 16:00


Telephone: 0191 515 5555


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