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National Glass Centre (NGC) staff are celebrating their hard work this year after recently passing a prestigious national tourism assessment.
The Sunderland attraction, which reaches 12 years old in June, has been recognised for its excellent customer service and commitment to delivering a quality visitor experience by being awarded the Enjoy England accreditation of Quality Assured Visitor Attraction.
This is the tenth consecutive year NGC has been granted this status as part of the annual Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme (VAQAS). The service award, which was launched in 2001, aims to provide reassurance to visitors about the standard of customer care they can expect when visiting the attraction.
A mystery shopper visited NGC throughout the December Christmas holiday period to rate all areas of the venue that affect the visitor experience including pre-visit information, cleanliness, attraction opportunities and accessibility.
As well as praising NGC on many of its current facilities, the assessment also provided independent feedback and plans for how the venue can continue to improve its services to visitors.
James Berresford, Chief Executive of VisitEngland commented: "The National Glass Centre in Sunderland runs a changing programme of first class art works as well as permanent exhibitions. It is a well managed attraction with well trained front of house staff and a policy of continually upgrading elements of the attraction.
“Having the Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme (VAQAS) stamp of approval is a testament to the high standards and fulfilling experience that the attraction offers its visitors."
Ruth Hall, Tourism, Hospitality and Visitor Services Manager at NGC, said: “We are over the moon to yet again be able to fly the Enjoy England logo that so many attractions proudly aim to achieve.
She continued: “We value the feedback provided by this annual assessment over the years to enable us in providing the best quality visitor experience possible and actively seek ways to exceed customer’s expectations at every opportunity.”
National Glass Centre is placed alongside other North East VAQAS-accredited attractions including Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Bowes Museum, Lindisfarne Priory and Tyne and Wear Archive and Museum venues.
Cath Hindle, Head of Tourism at Tourism Tyne and Wear, who presented the award to NGC staff, said: “The National Glass Centre should be very proud of what they have achieved. VAQAS accreditation is not easy to come by and requires attractions to have a real dedication to delivering the highest standards of customer service and quality across all aspects of their business.
Cath continued: “Tourism Tyne and Wear works with businesses looking to gain quality accreditation and advises on how they can best achieve this. The National Glass Centre are a great example of how hard work and dedication can pay off.”
Member with Portfolio for Attractive & Inclusive City Councillor James Blackburn commented: “It is absolutely fantastic news that the National Glass Centre is yet again to receive such a significant award based on the quality of the visitor experience it provides. The National Glass Centre is unique and therefore a very valuable attraction, not just to Sunderland but also the north east of England and beyond and it is great to see the commitment by all staff to deliver such excellent results.”
Image: Cath Hindle (left) presents Ruth Hall (right) with the VAQAS quality marquee outside National Glass Centre.
Find out about making a visit to see NGC for yourself.