Fire Station Sunderland is a new centre for participation and enjoyment of the performing arts. It is at the heart of the transformational £18m cultural development in the city centre – the Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Quarter.
A new £11m music and performance hub will extend the original 1907 Fire Station for the presentation of local, regional, national and international artists, and giving new and emerging artistic talent a platform on which to shine.
Led by the Sunderland Music Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust, with Sunderland City Council and Sunderland Culture, and funding from Arts Council England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, this is probably the largest current cultural development in a post-industrial UK city centre.
Programming participation and performance events in music, theatre, comedy and dance, the new 450 seated -800 standing capacity auditorium is designed by award-winning architects Flanagan Lawrence, with fixtures, technology and equipment specified by international acoustic leaders, Idibri. The auditorium is due to open in 2021, with work starting in late 2019.
The existing Fire Station, which was officially opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2018, houses The Engine Room Bar and Restaurant, a heritage centre.
The Fire Station hosts regional dance agency Dance City and respected theatre company Live Theatre. Dance City delivers more than 20 different dance classes in its Sunderland studio, including ballet, tap, jazz and aerial. The studio also hosts a number of artist residencies – the first in 2018 was Robby Graham and his company Southpaw Dance. Live Theatre uses its studio as a base from which to deliver its Live Tales schools writing programme to schools in Sunderland and the surrounding area. For information about the weekly classes and courses offered by Dance City Sunderland visit the website here and for the creative writing workshops for schools visit Live Theatre’s website here.