New fences plan for National Glass Centre over roof repair issues

New barriers could be installed at Sunderland’s National Glass Centre to allow essential repairs to its iconic roof.

Thursday, 14th February 2019, 1:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th February 2019, 1:47 pm
The National Glass Centre.

Public access to the walk-on glass roof at the Sunderland cultural attraction has been restricted for months.

New plans, submitted to Sunderland City Council, aim to provide a more “attractive” and “stable” solution while experts explore future repairs.

If approved, 2.4m-high fences will be put in place to keep people off the roof and could be used to display temporary artworks.

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Access to the glass centre itself will remain unaffected under the plans.

A University of Sunderland spokesperson said: “During the temporary closure of National Glass Centre’s roof, for necessary maintenance and repair work, the university commissioned a full structural survey.

“The results revealed that more substantial repairs are required, therefore the roof is to remain closed until a longer term solution for its restoration can be implemented.

“The proposed fence is more attractive and stable than the existing heras panels, on what is an important visitor destination for Sunderland.”

The centre, which officially opened in 1998, is currently free to visit with a museum dedicated to the history of glass-making and a rolling roster of exhibitions.

It also serves as the hub for the university’s glass and ceramics department and the Institute for International Research in Glass.

The public can comment on the plans until Thursday, March 7 and a final decision is expected by Wednesday, April 10.

For more information or to give feedback, visit: and search planning ref 19/00181/FUL

National Glass Centre Sunderland. Picture Google

Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service