Glass Centre

Glass Centre partnership confirmed

by Stuart Vose

1879 Events Management secures new contract.

A leading north east caterer has been awarded the contract to run the restaurant at one of the region’s most popular cultural venues.

1879 Events Management saw off stiff competition with its plans to provide a comprehensive range of food at National Glass Centre when it re-opens this summer.

The quality of 1879’s offer is expected to make the already impressive venue one of the most attractive restaurants in the North-East.

For the first time, the newly named National Glass Centre Brasserie will open to lovers of high-quality food in the evening, and will undoubtedly be added to the list of premium restaurants in the region. Both daytime and evening menus will be heavily influenced by local and regional fayre.

1879 Events Management, which is a subsidiary company of Sunderland Football Club, brings to National Glass Centre Brasserie a level of professionalism which has seen the football club receive widespread recognition for the quality of its catering.

The addition of 1879 to the centre’s credentials says a lot about the future plans for National Glass Centre, which was taken over by the University of Sunderland in 2010.

Around £2.25m is being invested in the Sunderland-based venue to make it one of the region’s most popular visitor attractions, strengthening further the wider cultural offer in the region, as well as cementing its place nationally.

The centre has received substantial buy-in and support, regionally and nationally. Arts Council England is funding the project to the tune of £750,000, while the centre received £250,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, along with a range of donations from several charitable foundations.

The Victoria and Albert Museum has also praised the centre’s vision and the new team to lead that vision, and has expressed real interest in collaboration.

When National Glass Centre re-opens in the summer visitors will see a completely refurbished venue, largely unrecognisable from before. The centre’s remodelled galleries and displays will present a range of exhibitions, including a private collection loaned by the National Museums of Scotland, a new gallery telling a compelling story on the history of glass in Sunderland and improved and modernised educational facilities.

Alongside this will be a range of public participation events and workshops relating to glass and ceramics, as well as a new retail shop and the new National Glass Centre Brasserie.

National Glass Centre Director, James Bustard, said: “Everyone involved in the redevelopment of the centre is thoroughly enthused about the re-opening in the summer, and about its future success. We are extremely confident that the new look centre will further enhance the region’s cultural offer, while helping to reinforce ourselves as the leading centre for glass in the UK.

“By working with partners like Sunderland Football Club, through 1879, that wider quality offer is strengthened even further. We are delighted to have them on board.”

Gary Hutchinson, Commercial Director at Sunderland Football Club, said: “1879 Events Management is delighted to be providing such an important service to National Glass Centre at such an exciting time in its development. A first class food offering will help strengthen visitor numbers which can only benefit the city as a whole. 

“We’re proud to be in partnership with both National Glass Centre and the University of Sunderland on this venture and to be able to showcase the versatility of what our catering arm can offer from both one-off events to day-to-day contracts like this.”