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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 May, 2003, 10:25 GMT 11:25 UK
Attraction bids to beat cash crisis
National Glass Centre
The National Glass Centre needs to attract more visitors

Managers of a visitor attraction are bidding to win a grant of 600,000 to tackle a financial crisis.

A National Audit Office report says the National Glass Centre, in Sunderland, is failing to attract enough visitors.

The centre is applying to the Arts Council for a 600,000 grant which it says would secure its future.

Chief executive Jules Preston said that money would pay off debts and pay for a whole range of measures aimed at capturing what he describes as the "wow factor".

He said a shortage of 10,000 visitors was costing the centre 40,000 a year.

He said: "We have got to enable people to come back and they have got to want to come back.

Wow factor

"That 600,000 will cover everything. It is about looking at the National Glass Centre as a whole - what do we need to do to create a wow factor, what do we need to do to bring people back?

"That 600,000 will create a future for the National Glass Centre."

If they are successful in being awarded the money, it will be used on measures like marketing, staffing and more changes to exhibitions.

Mr Preston said he accepted attracting more visitors was crucial and said he was optimistic about the future.

He said: "What I have found exciting over the last two or three months is the Arts Council have put different sets of consultants in there. They thought the potential for the National Glass Centre was huge.

"They believe and I believe that we can create that wow factor."

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20 Sep 01  |  Arts

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