This part of the proposal will bring Art and Culture into the heart of our City and bring back into use one of Sunderland's most iconic buildings. It will involve the conversion of the Old FireStation into a Music and Arts Hub with performance spaces and an auditorium. It will be a home for Music, Dance, Comedy and Theatre in Sunderland.
With an stimulating educational programme, it will attract young and old to become involved in the arts and culture and will be an important educational centre for children using music, drama and art to stimulate young minds and nurture the creative and talented young people this city needs.
It will also have a welcoming restaurant and bar and could be used for a wide variety of events and occasions.
It will introduce world class culture, music and drama in a smaller and more intimate venue standing alongside and complementing the Empire Theatre.
There are a number of examples of similar developments throughout the UK including Oran Mor in Glasgow and Summerhall in Ednburgh. In Belfast, the new Metropolitan Arts Centre provides a similar function and, closer to home, venues such as Live Theatre in Newcastle and the Gala in Durham are successful in developing arts and culture and fostering young talent through their education programmes.
In other parts of the country old FireStations of a similar age and type have been converted to become arts and culture hubs such as the FireStation Arts Centre in Windsor and the Old FireStation in Oxford.
More recently the Bridewell FireStation in the centre of Bristol has been converted into an exciting Arts and Community Hub, The Station.
It will be where the people of Sunderland, the NorthEast and beyond can come to enjoy music and performance.
In so doing it will help change the ‘evening economy’ of the City.