PLANS have been unveiled for an ambitious re-development of the National Glass Centre in Sunderland.

Following the successful completion of phase one in September, which saw the National Glass Centre re-model its glass studio and shop, the second phase will completely modernise and refresh the centre at the University of Sunderland for the 21st century.

The centre will temporarily close to the public as its entire upper floor is re-modelled from January 1.

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It will include the addition of a new heritage gallery, upgraded education and resource rooms and improved teaching and learning facilities and significantly increased exhibition capacity.

The project is due for completion in Summer 2013 when the centre will re-open to the public with a high profile launch event, the opening of three exhibitions of national significance and an ambitious community engagement programme.

Centre director James Bustard said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the National Glass Centre to become a true asset to the city of Sunderland, a jewel on the banks of the Wear.

“The building’s transformation will enable us to deliver our vision of a centre of excellence, supporting the production, exhibition and enjoyment of contemporary glass."