The Fire Station, High Street West, Sunderland, SR1 3HA – Visit Now
The Fire Station in Sunderland has just been kitted out with a state-of-the-art auditorium, bringing a whole new wave of live music, theatre and comedy to the city.
Dating back to 1908, The Fire Station was dramatically restored in 2017 – an £11m project at the heart of the transformational cultural development in the city centre, known as the MAC Quarter. The venue’s Engine Room bar and restaurant quickly became a go-to food and drink spot, while its studios provided a much-needed space for children and young people to develop their artistic talents.
Two years later in 2019, work began on the creation of the new auditorium, which necessitated a sizeable extension of the building. Holding 550 seated and 800 standing, the new space, completed in late 2021, is now attracting artists, shows and performances that have not been able to visit Sunderland before.
And there’s more. In 2022, the venue will open a new outside space. The Parade Ground will bring live music and performance to the great outdoors with a large multifunctional stage and festival atmosphere. Within it, a new Colonnade Bar – complete with a bird’s-eye view balcony – will be serving up a relaxed drinks offer to accompany the outdoor performance programme.
Lined up in the auditorium this year, there’s music from the likes of Grammy Award-winning pianist Bill Laurance, alternative-folk act This is the Kit and post-punk revivalists The Futureheads. Theatre highlights include Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, and there’s stand-up from Live at the Apollo stars Gary Delaney and Milton Jones.
Providing a year-round programme of events from both rising stars and well-established artists, The Fire Station is a huge win for Sunderland’s cultural calendar.