Case study

Developing new professions for new businesses: the National Glass Centre

30 Mar 2017

The University of Sunderland’s leadership of the National Glass Centre, the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art and The Cultural Spring has been recognised by leading figures from Arts Council England, the V&A and Heritage Lottery. The University’s place-making initiatives have directly led to the University forming a new Culture Company to operate, manage and develop all cultural assets in the city of Sunderland including the Museum and Art Gallery, the Washington Arts Centre, the Old Fire Station as well as the NGC and the NGCA. The company is also leading the bid for Sunderland to be named UK City of Culture 2021.

Located on the banks of the River Wear, the university-owned National Glass Centre embodies national excellence supporting the research, teaching, production, exhibition and enjoyment of contemporary glass. The area is steeped in rich heritage – the Centre stands adjacent to St. Peter's Church, part of the original Monkwearmouth-Jarrow Priory built in 674.

The National Glass Centre has recently re-launched following a major £2.5m capital refurbishment, with an acclaimed and popular programme. In addition to its seven-day a week activities as a visitor centre, the building is also home to more than 200 students and staff delivering Art and Design Foundation as well as undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in glass and ceramics. The university has recently acquired from the city council the renowned Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art which will be housed in the National Glass Centre. The acquisition opens curriculum, research and curating links with Fine Art and Photography.