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The National Glass Centre won the Best Tourism Experience Award 2011 in the North East England Tourism Awards last night, for its unique glass experiences.
The National Glass Centre, which is part of the University of Sunderland, boasts the largest art glass making facility in the UK. It scooped the accolade last night at the Stadium of Light at the annual event which showcases the best that tourism has to offer in the region.
More than 40 businesses were competing for an award in a wide range of categories which reflects the quality, performance and innovation of the region’s tourism sector and give businesses the chance to show how they stand out from the crowd.
Visitors to the NGC can sign up for a whole range of glass experiences, courses, taster sessions and family workshops, with little or no previous experience in glass making; everyone aged 5 or above, can experience the art of glass making for themselves. Free glassblowing demonstrations with commentary also allow visitors to see the experts at work, twice-daily at noon and 3pm.
NGC, located close to the historic site of St Peter’s Church, part of the Monkwearmouth-Jarrow Priory built in 674 AD, was shortlisted for the Best Tourism Experience Award alongside Go Ape in Matfen, Northumberland and Surfing in North Tyneside.
Taken over by the University of Sunderland last May, the NGC recently appointed new director James Bustard who will oversee an exciting capital development programme taking place at the riverside venue over the next two years.
James said: “This award acknowledges the very special cultural experience we offer at NGC and the exceptional standards of delivery which our public facing teams provide, be it at front-of-house or in the NGC Studio.
“It is a fantastic achievement and puts us up in the first rank of visitor attractions and cultural destinations in the North East region.
“A special thank you to all staff at NGC who have worked hard over the last year to achieve this recognition."
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