A Warm Welcome Back!

We hope you enjoyed our digital content during the closure – we were so pleased to be able to share a small part of our programme with you all, most of our online family activities can still be found here.

Thank you to everyone who donated or credited their tickets during this time, your continued support means a lot to us.

We’ve listed everything we think you will need to know to plan your visit below.

If you do have any other questions you can contact us at [email protected]

Thank you to the Art Fund for its support in helping us re-open safely and welcome visitors back to National Glass Centre.

  • Watch our reopening video here...
  • When will you reopen? Do I need to book?

    National Glass Centre and Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art will be reopen to the public from 10am on Monday 28 September 2020. No need to book (except for experiences).

    We’re going to be open as normal Monday – Sunday: 10am – 5pm.

    We look forward to seeing you soon!

  • What Covid-19 Safety Measures will be in place on my visit?

    We have put lots of Covid-19 safety measures in place to keep both our staff and visitors safe.

    We recommend you watch our welcome back film, above, to show you what to expect on your visit.

    Listed below are some of the measures we’ve put in place:

      • We’ve added floor signage asking you to keep left throughout your visit to help keep a social distance between you and other visitors.
      • You will be able to enter and exit through separate doors on both levels.
      • Hand sanitising stations are available on both levels.
      • You must wear a face covering on your visit except when sitting in cafe.
      • You will be asked to provide your name and contact number on entering the building to support Test and Trace as part of the government’s ongoing Covid-19 response.
      • We have provided lots of signage throughout building to help you on your visit.
      • For the time being we’re only accepting card payments.
      • Please note our revolving door is closed.
      • The frequency of our cleaning throughout the building has been increased, including toilets and other facilities.
      • Our passenger lift is available for those with mobility issues.
      • We have rearranged our shop to create more space when browsing (You can also now shop online!)
      • All of our activities have had new risk assessments and the relevant changes made to make them as safe as possible for participants.
    If you’re feeling unwell:

    If you or anyone you live with display symptoms associated with COVID-19, please delay your visit until it is safe to do so. If you think you have symptoms visit:  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/

    This symbol indicates that National Glass Centre have followed government and industry guidelines and have a plan in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.

  • Test and Trace: Pre-register for groups/visitors with additional needs. 

    We understand visiting us with someone/a group with a disability or additional needs and being asked to potentially queue to give your information at our test and trace desk could be unnecessarily stressful.

    We’d like to do everything we can to reduce this happening, so we’re offering a ‘fast track’ service for our test and trace desk.

    Just give us a call before your visit to let us know what day and time you will be visiting us so we can pre-register your information. This means you can just come straight in and get on with enjoying your experience.

    Call us on 0191 568 9700 or email us at [email protected] 

  • My course/activity booking was cancelled during closure, can I rebook?

    Yes, if you had a workshop or course cancelled and would like to book another activity you can do so in the following ways:

    • Using a credit on your account to rebook another activity, please contact us at [email protected]
    • If you were refunded, you can book a new activity online as normal here

    Please note our Adults Courses are all available to book, however we will be releasing our upcoming Family Programme over the next few weeks.

    If you have any queries, please contact us at [email protected]

    Thank you again for your support during this difficult time. We look forward to seeing you all again soon.


  • Can I book a Pumpkin/Bauble Blowing workshop?

    An announcement will be made soon regarding whether our glassblowing experiences will go ahead this year.

  • Are family workshops available to book or pre-book?

    Our programming team are working hard and looking carefully at how we can deliver our much loved family workshops once we reopen. We will be announcing the programme soon!

    We don’t currently have any activities available to book, however throughout lock-down our team have been creating a whole host of wonderful free family resources designed to be enjoyed from the comfort of home.

    You can access them all here…

    Artist inspired online family activities



    May Half Term!



    Online Arts Award

    Sunderland Culture are very excited to be able to offer an online Discover Arts Award!

    Arts Award is a nationally recognised qualification for young people aged between 5 and 25.

    Full of fun activities, it’s a great chance to find out about artists, discover new things, and share your journey with others. Plus, at the end you will gain an Award and certificate!

    Made up of six sections, you can complete the Arts Award at you own pace.

    This Arts Award is FREE for the first 150 people who sign up, so don’t miss out!





    Over Easter National Glass Centre and Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens created two weeks of online creative challenges and Easter fun that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home!


    Our Easter Family workshops are all still available!







  • Do I need to book in The Glass Yard Cafe?

    Yes, please call to book on 0191 515 5566.

    Please note staff are not fully back in the building for another few weeks so there may not be anyone available to take your call just yet.

    The Glass Yard will now operate a reduced menu, table service and will be card payments only.

  • I don't feel comfortable coming into the building just yet, can I shop online?

    Yes, you can now purchase a range beautiful handmade studio glass, jewellery, prints and gift cards to be delivered straight to your front door.

    All of your present buying sorted, or treat yourself, go on you deserve it!

    Most of the items are one of a kind so make sure you have a browse before they’re gone.


  • Do you make bespoke items?

    Yes! Our Hot Glass Studio glassmakers are incredibly talented artists , with years of glassmaking experience in industry and the art environment.

    Once we have reopened we will be able to take on commissions, in the meantime you can contact Christine Keers, our Hot Glass Studio Manager, with your enquiry.

  • What else do I need to know?

    If you’ve visited us before, you’ll be pleased to know, not much has had to change. Due to the spacious nature of our building we haven’t had to close any areas or exhibitions off to the public. We also still offer free entry and free parking. Yay!

    Our daily glass blowing demonstrations with commentary won’t be going ahead as there may be booked workshops going on in the studio. But, that still means you can watch live glassblowing throughout the day via the viewing windows in our shop. When we don’t have participants in you are more than welcome to watch our skilled glassblowers working in our Hot Glass Studio.

    We recommend you visit our Plan Your Visit page for general information such as directions, access information, links to our permanent and changing exhibitions as well as links to our experiences and activities.

    It’s really important to us that you feel safe, enjoy your visit and most importantly have fun!

    If you have an questions prior to your visit please do get in touch at [email protected].

  • I'd like to make a donation, how can I do that?

    National Glass Centre is part of Sunderland Culture, which is a registered charity (no 1184073). We rely on generous support so that everyone who lives, works or visits Sunderland can experience world-class culture.

    Making a donation will help ensure our City’s cultural offer can emerge from this challenge more vibrant than ever.

    If you’d like to help us continue bringing the very best glass and art from around the world here for the people of Sunderland and the North East, please text GLASS to 70085 to donate £3. Texts cost £3 plus one standard rate message.

    Or you can support us by visiting our Just Giving page.


    You can also make a donation at National Glass Centre once we reopen.