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Last Updated: Friday, 1 September 2006, 10:11 GMT 11:11 UK
Record figures visit Glass Centre
National Glass Centre
Entry to the National Glass Centre is now free
A Wearside visitor attraction is celebrating record attendance figures, one month after the admission charge was scrapped.

The National Glass Centre in Sunderland has had a troubled history since it opened in 1998, with six chief executives in as many years.

Last month the entry fee was dropped to bring the centre in line with other attractions in the city.

This led to nearly 18,000 visitors in August - a 60% increase on last year.

'Step forward'

Admission charges, which used to be 5 for adults and half price for children, were abolished after a cash injection from Sunderland City Council.

Katherine Pearson, the centre's chief executive, said: "Since the announcement all initial indicators point to the elimination of admission fees as being a tremendous step forward.

"Our informal visitor intercept research shows that a significant number of local residents are making their first visit to the National Glass Centre."

She added that the true test would come at the end of school holidays when visitors shift from families to touring groups.


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