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Friday, 21 June, 2002, 16:30 GMT 17:30 UK
Financial support for glass museum
National Glass Centre
The centre has struggled to attract visitors
The Sunderland-based National Glass Centre is to get secure funding for the first time since it opened four years ago.

The centre, which cost 16m, has struggled to sustain visitor numbers and been plagued with administrative difficulties, including the resignation of its first chief executive.

But now Sunderland City Council is investing 100,000 into the complex.

Officials at the centre say this will now attract further funding of about 275,000 from the Arts Council and Northern Arts.

'Exceptionally well'

The centre, which is currently suffering losses of about 100,000 a year, was built to reflect Sunderland's links with glass.

Sunderland City Council cabinet member Brian Dodds, said: "We want to support the National Glass Centre because Sunderland's history is very much entwined with glass."

A spokesman for the National Glass Centre said: "This is very good news. This will release a further 150,000 from the Arts Council and some extra support from Northern Arts.

"There are very few tourist attractions, if any, that can make a profit.

"The National Glass Centre was first planned on a basis of 250,000 visitors a year. The reality is that we have had less than 100,000 visitors a year.

"What we have to do is try to make this more of a free facility instead of charging for admission."

"I think we do exceptionally well in that three quarters of our funding comes from our own efforts."

See also:

28 May 02 | Entertainment
01 May 02 | Entertainment
07 Jan 02 | Entertainment
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