Closure Announcement – updated 30 June 

Following the Government’s announcement that the reopening of cultural venues can begin from 4th July, colleagues at Sunderland City Council and the University of Sunderland are working hard behind the scenes to ensure the safety of visitors and staff before opening venues in the city, which is likely to happen in a phased way over the coming weeks and months.

Keep an eye out for further announcements here on our website and on our social media channels. Please note, specific venue reopening information will be made available on each venue’s website.

Sunderland Culture is a registered charity. We rely on generous support so that everyone who lives, works or visits Sunderland can experience world-class culture. Making a donation will help to ensure our City’s cultural offer can emerge from this challenge more vibrant than ever.

You can support us by visiting our Just Giving page.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

You can read our full closure notice and refund details here.


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Our Venues

Arts Centre Washington

Arts Centre Washington provides a year round programme of theatre, music, comedy, dance, film, exhibitions as well as a whole range of classes and courses from salsa dancing to scale model making. We also house artists’ studios, a recording studio and rehearsal rooms. The centre is available to hire for private functions and corporate events.

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City-wide Programme

From high-wire spectacles across the River Wear to intimate theatre performances in hidden spaces, our city-wide programme offers an exciting range of activities and events for everyone to enjoy. Taking place outside of our main venues some of our recent events have included, Wonderlooper on the new Northern Spire Bridge, Danny Boyle’s Pages of the Sea on Roker Beach for Armistice 2018 and our Great Place programme.

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The Fire Station

Sitting in the heart of Sunderland’s Music, Arts and Cultural Quarter, next to the Empire Theatre, our newest venue The Fire Station opened its doors as a centre for performance in the city centre offering dance classes, theatre workshops and Heritage Centre. The Engine Room bistro and bar offers high quality dining in the setting of the former engine room. We look forward to opening a brand new mid-scale auditorium in 2021.

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National Glass Centre

An iconic free cultural attraction situated on the banks of the River Wear, National Glass Centre celebrates the origins, growth and history of glass making in Sunderland. Explore the city’s rich history of glass making and enjoy our international exhibitions programme, which presents the work of leading contemporary artists in glass and ceramics. Join us for one-to-one Glass Blowing Experiences, or take part in one of our family friendly glass making, jewellery or craft classes. Feel the heat of our 1100 degree furnaces during one of our free daily glass blowing demonstrations. Enjoy a bit of retail therapy in our Shop, or treat yourself to lunch in our Riverside cafe, The Glass Yard.

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Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art

The new Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art (NGCA) reopened in March 2018 at National Glass Centre. The Gallery’s opening programme celebrated the achievements of artists living and working in North-East England, who share visions of how we live now. Each of these exhibitions revealed a brand new body of work. We also celebrate NGCA’s 50th anniversary in 2021 - having been one of the first contemporary art galleries in the UK. NGCA with National Glass Centre began a new collection of contemporary art for the city of Sunderland.

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Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens

Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens is a great place for the whole family to spend a day, giving you lots to see and do. Situated in the heart of the city, the museum has four floors of galleries and exhibitions. Learn the story of the city and its people and of fascinating worlds beyond. Our programme of special exhibitions features both local and national collections, brought here through links with national museums. Regular events and activities for all ages, as well as our beautiful newly refurbished shop and cafe mean that there are so many reasons for you to visit us time and time again.

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