Caution call as lockdown lifts and Sunderland arts venues prepare to reopen from Monday, May 17

A council boss in Sunderland has urged people to be cautious – as the city’s attractions emerge from lockdown restrictions.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 6:03 pm
The National Glass Centre

Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, Art Centre Washington, the National Glass Centre and Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art (NGCA) will all open over the coming days.

NGCA and National Glass Centre will reopen at 10am on Monday, May 17, with the Museum and Winter Gardens and Arts Centre Washington welcoming visitors back on Tuesday, May 18, at 1pm.

Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “It’s fantastic to see venues which our residents have really missed, reopening and expanding the services they’re able to offer following the latest easing of restrictions.

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Cllr Graeme Miller.

“Thanks to the hard work of everyone, we’re able to move forward and this is another important milestone on the road back to normality.

"Covid rates are low at the moment, but the virus is still in circulation so we need to make sure that we all keep doing what our residents have been doing so brilliantly since the start of the pandemic by continuing to follow the guidance in place to keep us all safe.”

Rebecca Ball, creative director of Sunderland Culture, said: “We have missed visitors and audiences at all of our venues and are thrilled to be reopening after months of closure.

"We have introduced additional measures to keep visitors safe and can’t wait to see people coming through our doors again.”

Arts Centre Washington will reopen with drawings and Arabic calligraphy produced by Sangini artists Padma Rao and Roohia Syed-Ahmed and local Bangladeshi women who too part in online workshops during the pandemic.

Visitors to the National Glass Centre will be able to see the No Strings exhibition – which features the work of seven international artists working with glass beads in unconventional ways.

Artist Chad McCail’s Toy exhibition has also been extended at NGCA.

The team at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens has been carrying out repairs and improvement so, for the next few weeks, only the ground floor will be open.

There is also a new addition at the venue – Bennelli’s, a new Italian-style coffee shop, also opens on Monday.

Find out more about Sunderland Culture’s reopening, venues’ safety precautions and what exhibitions you can see at

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