Creating a vibrant new cultural heart for Sunderland

Hello and welcome to your community portal! This has been created to give you regular updates on the progress of the Sunderland Fire Station conversation project, which is bringing arts and culture into the heart of the city.

A collection of ambitious partners which include: ENGIE, the MAC trust and Sunderland City Council have joined forces to restore one of the city’s most iconic buildings and leave a lasting legacy in the area. The former fire station which has remained unused for the past 24 years has been supported by a £2.5m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HFL) to help turn this master plan into a reality.

The incredible makeover is set to create a welcoming café and restaurant on the ground floor; dance and music studios and a heritage center on the upper floor, which will provide a central hub for different generations to become involved in cultural pursuits, such as music, dance, comedy and theatre while understanding the history and heritage of this area in Sunderland.

As well as the aesthetic works, engaging with the local community throughout the programme remains a number one priority for the partners. Developing strong relationships with local institutions and SME’s we will be hosting a variety of exciting activities to ensure everyone can get involved. Check out our activities page for more information.

This portal will aim to:

  • Keep you informed – follow the portal to witness the changes taking place in the area. We’ll show you the big picture through photographs, videos and features.
  • Keep you involved – we have a range of exciting activities lined up, which are suitable for everyone to get involved in, so keep your eyes peeled for more information
  • Listen to your feedback – if you have any questions, please speak to our team


Hello and welcome to your community portal! This has been created to give you regular updates on the progress of the Sunderland Fire Station conversation project, which is bringing arts and culture into the heart of the city.

A collection of ambitious partners which include: ENGIE, the MAC trust and Sunderland City Council have joined forces to restore one of the city’s most iconic buildings and leave a lasting legacy in the area. The former fire station which has remained unused for the past 24 years has been supported by a £2.5m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HFL) to help turn this master plan into a reality.

The incredible makeover is set to create a welcoming café and restaurant on the ground floor; dance and music studios and a heritage center on the upper floor, which will provide a central hub for different generations to become involved in cultural pursuits, such as music, dance, comedy and theatre while understanding the history and heritage of this area in Sunderland.

As well as the aesthetic works, engaging with the local community throughout the programme remains a number one priority for the partners. Developing strong relationships with local institutions and SME’s we will be hosting a variety of exciting activities to ensure everyone can get involved. Check out our activities page for more information.

This portal will aim to:

  • Keep you informed – follow the portal to witness the changes taking place in the area. We’ll show you the big picture through photographs, videos and features.
  • Keep you involved – we have a range of exciting activities lined up, which are suitable for everyone to get involved in, so keep your eyes peeled for more information
  • Listen to your feedback – if you have any questions, please speak to our team


  • Local College get a sneak preview of disused Fire Station before works get underway

    almost 3 years ago

    Pupils from Sunderland College were invited to attend a site tour of the first fire station built in Sunderland. The facility which has remained derelict since 1992 still contains a number of its original artefacts from its heydays when the building was in full use.

    The keen youngsters who are all studying towards their Level 2 Electrical qualifications joined Keepmoat’s Site Manager to walk around the site to examine the early stages of the works programme, and on their way learnt more about the heritage of the building through the knowledge of Senior Conservation Officer, Ian Smithwhite who has an...

    Pupils from Sunderland College were invited to attend a site tour of the first fire station built in Sunderland. The facility which has remained derelict since 1992 still contains a number of its original artefacts from its heydays when the building was in full use.

    The keen youngsters who are all studying towards their Level 2 Electrical qualifications joined Keepmoat’s Site Manager to walk around the site to examine the early stages of the works programme, and on their way learnt more about the heritage of the building through the knowledge of Senior Conservation Officer, Ian Smithwhite who has an ardent interest of the rich heritage and culture of the area.

    The day concluded with a Q&S session, which allowed the pupils to quiz the site team about the ins and outs of works planned. The lucky pupils will be invited back at the latter stage of the programme to witness the significant transformation first-hand.

    Steven Vint , Electrical Lecturer at Sunderland College said: “I just wanted to thank you on behalf of myself and the students for the excellent tour today. The students have already fed back comments including “this is the best trip we have ever been on “and “that was class “ which pretty much summaries the positive influence it’s had on the pupils.

    Projects like this are vital to ensuring we bring real life experiences to the class room. Witnessing the construction works will not only put the pupils in good stead in their studies, but with a number of the students residing from the local area, it was fascinating for them to learn a bit more about their local heritage.”

    Geoff Scott, Employment and Skills Managersaid: “It was great to see the students take an interest in the development and renovation of a historic local building. We will be inviting the same group back in the New Year so they can see the progress the team has made, and then again at the end of the scheme to see the final result. We are committed to supporting the college throughout the scheme which will hopefully add value to the curriculum and give students an insight into the variety of work opportunities within the construction industry”.
  • First look at £8m arts venue set to change face of Sunderland culture

    almost 3 years ago


    Here’s the first look at Sunderland’s £8.2million arts and entertainment complex which will form the centrepiece of a new cultural quarter. Work has already begun on the £3million transformation of the Old Fire Station off High Street West into a restaurant, cafe, heritage centre and dance and drama studio due to open next autumn.

    Read more at:http://www.sunderlandecho.com/whats-on/first-look-at-8m-arts-venue-set-to-change-face-of-sunderland-culture-1-8128129



    Here’s the first look at Sunderland’s £8.2million arts and entertainment complex which will form the centrepiece of a new cultural quarter. Work has already begun on the £3million transformation of the Old Fire Station off High Street West into a restaurant, cafe, heritage centre and dance and drama studio due to open next autumn.

    Read more at:http://www.sunderlandecho.com/whats-on/first-look-at-8m-arts-venue-set-to-change-face-of-sunderland-culture-1-8128129