Access Information

The Fire Station is a fully accessible building in all areas. We hope that the information below can help you plan your visit and answer any questions you may have about getting here and navigating our venue.

The Fire Station recognises that not all disabilities are visible or long term. If you have any access requirements at all, or there is additional support we can give you to make your visit more comfortable, please let us know by calling or emailing our Ticket Office and we will do everything we can to assist you.

For more information, please contact our Ticket Office, open Wednesday – Saturday, 4pm-6pm, by calling 0191 5700 007 (phone lines are open Wednesday – Saturday, 2pm-6pm) or emailing [email protected] and we’d be happy to help with any questions you may have.

We are a new venue and keen to make all our customers feel comfortable and welcome. If you have any feedback or comments about access to our venue, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

  • Getting here

    The Fire Station is located in Sunderland city centre, which has excellent transport links – getting here is simple and hassle-free via car, Metro, train, bus, bike or air. Find out more here.

    There is a step-free drop off point on Garden Place between The Fire Station and the Empire Theatre that will provide step-free access to the venue. The drop-off point is less than a minute walk to the front door.

  • Parking
    • There are various carparks within a short distance of The Fire Station – find out more here.
    • There are 10 on-street disabled parking spaces directly outside of the building and 4 on the opposite side of the road. Blue badge holders can also park free of charge and without time limit in most of Sunderland City Centre’s on and off-street parking bays. More information about disabled parking can be found here.
    • There is also a coach drop off point around the back of the Empire which is a 1 minute walk to the main entrance.


  • Entrances
    • The Fire Station buildings are connected and can be accessed through any of our main entrances.
    • There are two public entrances to The Fire Station:
      • Main Entrance – The Ticket Office, Auditorium, Foyer Bar, studios, teaching rooms, Engine Room bar & bistro can be accessed through the arched main door at the centre of the building.
      • Foyer Bar Entrance – there are two glass double doors used to exit the Foyer Bar and Auditorium. These doors are not in regular use to enter the building.
  • Our Chairs
    • Size: The seating pad of all our chairs measures 38 (w) x 43 (d) cm
    • Armrests: Rows AA – FF on Level 0 (Ground floor) do not have armrests. Rows A – H on Level 0 have armrests that can be moved upwards if they are not required by the user. All other seats have fixed armrests that do not move.
    • Rows AA – FF on Level 0 are tethered together and Rows A – M are in rows but are untethered.
    • Row J on Level 0 is our most spacious section with extra legroom to the front of each seat.

    If you have any questions about seats or would like some assistance with finding the best seats for yourself and your party, please contact our Ticket Office.

  • Toilets
    • Accessible Toilets: There are 5 gender neutral, accessible toilets on the ground floor including 3 at the back of the building when entering through the main door, 1 in the auditorium accessed through the foyer bar and one in the Engine Room Bar and Bistro. There are also 2 accessible toilets on Level One, these can be accessed by lift (press S) from the Ticket Office.
    • In the Auditorium: There are female toilets with 10 cubicles, male toilets with 3 cubicles as well as the previously mentioned single accessible toilet located on the ground floor on the far side of the auditorium. In each of the female and male toilets, the cubicle on the far end has an outward opening door and handrail.
    • In The Engine Room bar & bistro: there are male toilets with 2 cubicles and female toilets with 4 cubicles, one of which has an outward opening door with handrail.
    • The nearest Changing Places toilet is on Fawcett Street, find out more here.
  • Are guide dogs allowed to attend events at the venue
    • Yes – however please let us know in advance so we can make arrangements for your dog to be comfortable.
  • Do you have a hearing loop?
    • We have an assisted listening system in the auditorium which is WiFi-based and designed to be accessible from your mobile phone using your own headphones. If you do not have a phone or headphones, we can lend them to you for the event but please call or email us in advance to let us know in advance so we can ensure we have a handset charged and available. You will be required to sign the handset out and back in again.
  • Is there space for wheelchair users in the venue?
    • Space for wheelchairs varies depending on the layout of the venue however there is always between 2 and 11 spaces for wheelchairs. Wheelchair accessible seats, can be booked by calling our Ticket Office on 0191 5700 007 or in person. See our opening hours here.
    • We can also book an adjacent seat for a carer if required.
    • Arrangements for transfer from wheelchair to seat can be accommodated on request.
  • Do you offer concessions for carers?
    • You can book a free carers ticket through our Ticket Office in person or by calling 0191 5700 007
  • Will a member of staff be able to assist me to my seat?
    • We have priority seating for disabled customers which our staff can guide you to. Please arrange any access requirements by contacting our team at the ticket office
  • Content Warnings/Show Effects

    We endeavour to give our customers as much information as we can prior to the performance to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time with us. Please look at the event description and signage in the building on the day or evening of the event which will give you information about special effects, loud bangs, distressing content.

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