Sunderland glass centre up for top tourism award

shining example: Magdalena Odundo alongside her impressive hanging glass installation at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland.

shining example: Magdalena Odundo alongside her impressive hanging glass installation at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland.

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A SUNDERLAND venue has been shortlisted in the Oscars of the tourism world.

The National Glass Centre is in the running for the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year award at the North East England Tourism Awards.

Visitor numbers have boomed at the St Peter’s venue since it reopened in June 2013 following a £2.3m re-development.

More than a quarter of a million visitors have passed through its glass doors since the re-launch to admire its gallery displays, eat in the brasserie, shop and watch daily glass-blowing displays.

The venue will go head-to-head with Beamish, Sage Gateshead and the Centre for Life in Newcastle at the prestigious awards ceremony. James Bustard, director of National Glass Centre, said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this prestigious award. Following our re-opening last June, we have experienced overwhelmingly positive feedback from our visitors and this is the icing on the cake.

“To be shortlisted is testament to the hard work and enthusiasm of our staff over the last year, and it is fantastic to be representing Sunderland and flying the flag for the city’s many attractions.”

Sarah Stewart, chief executive of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, which organises the awards on behalf of the Northern Tourism Alliance, said: “This year we have seen a fantastic range of applications spanning the whole of North East England, from Berwick in the north to Guisborough in the south.”

Judges have spent time visiting all of the shortlisted businesses to determine who should take the top honour of gold in 15 categories.

Silver, bronze and highly commended accolades will also be announced during the awards ceremony at the Stadium of Light on November 11.

Winners at the regional awards will also have the opportunity to compete nationally at VisitEngland’s Excellence Awards 2015.