The upgrade plans will allow the venue to host large international events and exhibitions as well as developing its education and resource rooms.
The investment will also contribute new electric furnaces in the centre’s Hot Glass Studio, which can be used for demonstrations and workshops during events at the venue, and will reduce its carbon footprint.
Sharon Olver, commercial services manager for UniSpace Sunderland, said: "With this new development, the National Glass Centre will attract exhibitions from national and internationally acclaimed artists, offering an exceptional events space within the UK market."
James Bustard, director of the National Glass Centre, added: "This investment will strengthen the NGC’s reputation as a centre for excellence, enabling us to play a major role in the growing cultural landscape of the Sunderland and celebrate the city’s rich glass-making heritage."
The Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund, the Foyle Foundation, and the University of Sunderland have provided funding for the project, which is set for completion this summer.
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