Sunderland Music Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust was established in 2012 as a philanthropic, business-led charity. By putting culture and creativity in the heart of the city, the Trust is playing a significant role in driving Sunderland’s social and economic regeneration.
The Fire Station is the centrepiece of Sunderland’s Music Arts and Culture (MAC) Quarter. In 2017, the Trust restored Sunderland’s 1908 Central Fire Station, vacant since 1992, and converted it into a cultural hub with dance and literacy studios, teaching rooms and a bar/restaurant. The restoration was led by architects, Ainsworth Spark Associates with Engie as lead contractor. The Fire Station Auditorium is a newly built venue attached to the restored building and opens in 2021. It was designed by architects, Flanagan Lawrence, with acoustic design by Idibri, and Structural and M&E design by WSP. Project Managers and Quantity Surveyors on the project were Artis Consulting. The main contractor for the building was Brims Construction supported by Howard Litchfield Architects, with Structural design by JC Consulting, and M&E by Hepple Engineering. The Trust is extremely grateful to Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Sunderland City Council, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, the Foyle Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation, and the Backstage Trust for generously supporting the project.