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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 August 2006, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Glass centre scraps entry charge
National Glass Centre
The National Glass Centre opened in 1998
The entry fee for a Wearside visitor attraction is being scrapped.

It is hoped the changes at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland, will boost visitor numbers and encourage more repeat trips.

The move has been made possible through a support package approved by Sunderland City Council.

As well as free admission, a new marketing drive is being run to promote the attraction to local people, schools, visitors and artists.

The complex opened in 1998 and went through a difficult period, which included appointing six chief executives in as many years.

Retain graduates

Admission charges were originally 5 for adults and 3 for children, students or concessions. This was recently reduced to 3 and 1.50 while building work was under way.

The free admission will bring the National Glass Centre into line with other attractions in the city such as the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.

Council cabinet member for culture and leisure Mel Speding said: "This support will give everyone in Sunderland the opportunity to enjoy visits to the National Glass Centre as often as they wish.

"Our aim is to improve the lives of residents and visitors and to help attract and retain creative graduates, artists and businesses in the city."

Centre chief executive Katherine Pearson said it would give them the chance to offer improved opportunities to schools and more services and events for the local community, businesses and artists.

The centre is holding an open weekend on Saturday and Sunday when visitors will have a chance to watch glassmakers in action.


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