The Fire Station Sunderland exterior

The Fire Station Auditorium

The long-awaited moment arrived on December 10, 2021, as Sunderland proudly unveiled its magnificent £18 million Auditorium, marking a significant milestone in the city’s cultural renaissance. The Fire Station’s Auditorium, a result of meticulous planning and months of hard work, burst onto the scene with an exhilarating line-up of shows and performances.

This state-of-the-art venue not only brings acclaimed national and international artists to Sunderland but also provides a platform for local and emerging talents to showcase their abilities. Known for its versatility, the Fire Station Auditorium hosts up to 300 events annually, spanning music, theatre, comedy and dance, accommodating a seated audience of up to 550 people or up to 800 people in a standing capacity.

Situated in the heart of Sunderland, The Fire Station is a vibrant, mid-scale live music and performance venue. Alongside the Auditorium, it features The Engine Room Bar & Bistro, offering a harmonious blend of entertainment and dining experiences. The venue also serves as the primary lecture room for the University of Sunderland’s cutting-edge Modern Music Industries Degree program. This program, a collaboration between the university and the Northern Academy of Music Education (NAME), is spearheaded by The Futureheads’ Barry Hyde and his business partner, Dan Donnelly.

Whether your taste leans towards indie, rock, jazz, theatre or comedy, The Fire Station’s diverse program promises something for everyone. Its upstairs area houses studios, rehearsal spaces and teaching rooms, nurturing creativity and fostering artistic growth. Furthermore, the venue’s brand-new studios have welcomed Live Theatre and Dance City to Sunderland, inviting individuals of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to explore their artistic aspirations through a variety of workshops.

The remarkable restoration of the Central Fire Station, which had remained vacant since 1992, was skilfully executed by the Sunderland MAC Trust. Transformed into a cultural hub, the building now stands as a testament to the city’s revitalisation efforts. The Engine Room Bar & Bistro, cherished by locals and visitors alike for its welcoming ambiance, was officially inaugurated on February 21, 2017, by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Established in 2012, the Sunderland Music Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust is a philanthropic charity led by the business community. By placing culture and creativity at the core of the city’s revitalisation, the Trust plays a pivotal role in driving Sunderland’s social and economic growth. The restoration project was spearheaded by architects Ainsworth Spark Associates, with Engie serving as the lead contractor.

Joining the Sunderland Culture family, which includes renowned institutions such as the Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, National Glass Centre, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art and Arts Centre Washington, The Fire Station cements its status as the latest addition to the city’s vibrant cultural scene. To explore the offerings at these venues and stay informed about upcoming events, visit the Sunderland Culture website.

In 2019, construction commenced on the awe-inspiring Auditorium, expanding the existing fire station to create a versatile performance space. Designed by the acclaimed teams of Flanagan Lawrence, Sage Gateshead and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the Auditorium provides an unparalleled opportunity to bring artists, show and performances to Sunderland that were previously unattainable.

Idibri, renowned for their acoustic expertise, meticulously crafted the sound design of the newly constructed Auditorium, while WSP handled the structural and M&E (mechanical and electrical) design. The project management and quantity surveying were expertly overseen by Artis Consulting. Brims Construction led the construction efforts, with Howard Litchfield Architects, JC Consulting and Hepple Engineering providing invaluable support in the areas of structural design and M&E engineering.

For those seeking a pre-show experience, the Foyer Bar within the new Auditorium is the perfect destination. Set against a backdrop of Sunderland Minister, this inviting bar offers a smart yet relaxed atmosphere, where patrons can enjoy a refreshing drink before the performance begins. With its stunning views and welcoming ambiance, the Foyer Bar sets the stage for an unforgettable evening of entertainment.


The Fire Station Auditorium stands proudly as Sunderland’s cutting-edge performance venue, heralding its grand opening on December 10, 2021. Brought to life by the Music, Arts and Culture Trust (MAC Trust), this state-of-the-art facility plays a pivotal role in the development of a vibrant Music, Arts and Cultural Quarter in the heart of Sunderland. The project aims to restore and revive the area’s historic prominence as the Edwardian epicentre of the city’s soul and spirit.

Brims, the esteemed construction company, secured the project through a competitive tendering process in 2018. The Fire Station Auditorium serves as a cornerstone within the masterplan for the Music and Cultural Quarter, complementing the refurbished Dun Cow pub, the Empire Theatre and the recently renovated adjacent Fire Station.

Addressing Sunderland’s pressing need for appropriately sized specialist venues dedicated to music, drama and dance was a central focus of the Auditorium’s design brief. Consequently, the new auditorium is designed to accommodate diverse audiences, with seating for 500 people or standing room for 800 individuals, adaptable to various layouts. The venue’s hall is equally adept at hosting amplified music, creating a natural acoustic for dramatic performances, captivating dance shows, hilarious comedy acts, inspiring conferences and captivating film screenings.

The foyer seamlessly extends the vibrant ground floor public space of the Edwardian Fire Station, capitalising on the surrounding open area and becoming a sought-after destination in the city centre. It harmoniously integrates with the nearby restaurants, bars, drama and dance rehearsal studios, fostering a lively cultural hub within and around The Fire Station.

The Parade Ground, accessible to the public, features an outdoor stage, enabling the venue to host captivating events both indoors and under the open sky. The ground-level box office and reception, centrally located, serve both wings of the building, while The Engine Room Bar provides an enticing all-day food and beverage experience, operating when the Auditorium is closed and expanding onto the sunny south-facing public square.

Together, the Auditorium and the Edwardian Fire Station create a continuous façade, embracing a vibrant south-facing public square. Above the glazed foyer, the Auditorium boasts an elegant terracotta brise soleil, mirroring the colour and tone of The Fire Station’s distinctive red brickwork. Glimpses through the terracotta accents offer tantalising views of the brick Auditorium within, enhancing the sense of anticipation and allure.

The west elevation, facing Garden Place and the revered Empire Theatre, is artfully crafted as a striking red brick block. Adorned with simple vertical cuts, it reveals windows and entrances, with the Auditorium’s distinctive structure projecting above, commanding attention with its architectural presence.

The captivating sculptural quality of the brick architecture gracefully continues around the building, culminating at the outdoor stage, which forms a magnificent proscenium, serving as the centrepiece of the Parade Ground. Abundant glazing in the foyers maximises views into the building and floods the public spaces with natural daylight, creating a sense of openness and connection to the bustling public square.

The opening of the Auditorium marks another momentous stride in Sunderland’s cultural transformation and aspirations. Sunderland Culture, entrusted with managing The Fire Station on behalf of the MAC Trust, has been recognised as an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, dedicated to enriching the lives of everyone in Sunderland through the power of culture.

Analysis: Site Visit

Prior to the commencement of the cleaning tasks, our highly skilled and experienced project manager from Cklip embarked on a thorough site visit to The Fire Station Auditorium. This site visit was an integral part of our meticulous approach to ensure the successful execution of the builders clean, sparkle clean and external window cleaning assignments.

During the site visit, our project manager carefully assessed the entire premises, meticulously examining the various areas that required cleaning attention. This included an evaluation of the interior spaces, paying close attention to surfaces, flooring, fixtures and fittings that may have accumulated dust, debris or construction residues.

Additionally, our project manager thoroughly inspected the external windows of The Fire Station Auditorium, acknowledging their significance in presenting a clean and inviting façade to visitors and passers-by. This inspection enabled us to identify any specific challenges or access requirements for ensuring a comprehensive and effective window cleaning process.

The site visit also provided our project manager with valuable insights into the unique characteristics and requirements of The Fire Station Auditorium. By carefully observing the architectural elements, materials used and design considerations, we were able to tailor our cleaning approach to preserve the integrity and aesthetics of the venue.

Furthermore, our project manager collaborated closely with the construction team from Brims to ensure a smooth transition from the construction phase to the cleaning phase. This collaborative approach allowed us to address any residual construction-related issues and develop a cleaning plan that aligned seamlessly with the project timeline.

At Cklip, we understand the importance of providing a pristine and inviting environment for visitors to The Fire Station Auditorium. Our site visit served as a foundation for our comprehensive cleaning strategy, enabling us to allocate the necessary resources, select appropriate cleaning techniques and develop a detailed plan of action.

By conducting a thorough analysis during the site visit, Cklip demonstrates our commitment to delivering exceptional cleaning services. We are dedicated to upholding the highest standards of cleanliness and enhancing the overall appeal of The Fire Station Auditorium, making it a welcoming and enjoyable space for all who visit.

Planning: Site Survey

To ensure a smooth and safe execution of the cleaning tasks at The Fire Station Auditorium, Cklip undertook a comprehensive site survey as part of our meticulous planning process. This survey was essential as it allowed us to identify potential risks, develop robust risk assessments and establish appropriate method statements to prioritise the health and safety of all personnel involved.

During the site survey, our dedicated team conducted a thorough assessment of the premises, taking into consideration the ongoing construction activities. This involved identifying potential hazards such as uneven surfaces, debris or hazardous materials that could pose risks to our cleaning operatives. By proactively addressing these risks, we aimed to create a secure working environment for our team and mitigate any potential accidents or incidents.

In line with our commitment to adhering to industry-leading safety standards, Cklip provided all necessary certifications and qualifications to validate our expertise and competence. This included CSCS cards, CHAS (Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme) accreditation, Safecontractor certification and Constructionline Gold certification. These credentials not only demonstrate our commitment to safety but also ensure that our cleaning operatives possess the required knowledge and skills to carry out their tasks effectively and safely.

Furthermore, our site survey involved close coordination and collaboration with the construction team from Brims. By maintaining open lines of communication, we were able to align our cleaning schedule with the construction timeline, ensuring minimal disruption to their activities while still achieving optimal cleaning results.

At Cklip, we prioritise the well-being of our team members, clients and the general public. Our thorough site survey and stringent adherence to health and safety regulations enable us to mitigate risks, provide a secure working environment and deliver high-quality cleaning services.

By meticulously planning and preparing for the cleaning tasks at The Fire Station Auditorium, we demonstrate our dedication to excellence and our commitment to exceeding client expectations. Cklip is proud to contribute to the success of this project, ensuring that the venue maintains a clean and inviting atmosphere for all visitors to enjoy.

Implementation: Works Carried Out

Following coordination with Brims to determine the completion timeline for The Fire Station Auditorium, Cklip meticulously scheduled and executed the builders clean and sparkle clean to ensure the venue was immaculate for its grand opening. Our cleaning services encompassed a comprehensive range of tasks, including the meticulous cleaning of 550 seats, the versatile stage area, acoustic panels expertly designed by Idibri, washrooms and The Foyer Bar.

The builders clean and sparkle clean were designed to transform the space from a construction site to a pristine and inviting performance venue. Our dedicated cleaning team carried out a range of tasks to ensure every aspect of the auditorium was spotless. This included thorough vacuuming and mopping of floors and stairs, meticulously removing any traces of paint, plaster and glue that might have been left behind during the construction process. Additionally, we paid careful attention to cleaning skirting boards, doors, frames, fixtures, light fittings, electrical sockets and switches, leaving no surface untouched.

The cleaning of windows and glass balustrades was also a crucial aspect of our services. Cklip’s skilled professionals employed specialised techniques and products to ensure that the windows and glass surfaces sparkled, providing unobstructed views and enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of the venue. We meticulously cleaned windows, including sills, frames and insulation materials, ensuring that all surfaces were free from dirt, smudges and streaks.

In the washrooms, our cleaning experts conducted a deep cleaning of tilework, removing grout and plaster residue to achieve a polished and hygienic appearance. We also paid attention to cisterns, sinks and mirrors, ensuring they were thoroughly cleaned and polished to maintain a pristine environment for visitors.

The Foyer Bar, a key gathering space within the auditorium, received the same level of detailed cleaning. Our dedicated team cleaned and polished appliance and equipment exteriors, leaving no visible spot untouched. We ensured that all visible and accessible surfaces in the Foyer Bar, including tables, countertops and other furniture, were thoroughly cleaned and polished to create an inviting and welcoming atmosphere for patrons.

In addition to the interior cleaning, Cklip also executed the external window cleaning using our advanced ionic vehicle-mounted Reach & Wash window cleaning system. This state-of-the-art system ensured that all exterior windows of The Fire Station Auditorium were flawlessly cleaned, providing crystal-clear views and enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of the venue.

By diligently executing the builders clean, sparkle clean and external window cleaning, Cklip played a vital role in transforming The Fire Station Auditorium into a pristine and visually stunning performance space. Our attention to detail and commitment to delivering exceptional cleaning services contributed to the successful handover of the venue, ensuring a remarkable experience for all visitors.

Review: Hand Over

Cklip takes pride in its team of highly skilled construction cleaners who have extensive experience in successfully executing a wide range of projects. As Brims neared completion of The Fire Station Auditorium, it became essential to arrange a professional builders clean and sparkle clean to showcase their exceptional workmanship. This cleaning process was crucial to ensure that the property would be presented in its absolute best condition for client handover and immediate occupation.

At Cklip, we understand the importance of delivering outstanding results when it comes to builders cleaning. Our dedicated team possesses the expertise and knowledge to tackle projects of all sizes, ensuring that every detail is meticulously cleaned and attended to. We work closely with construction companies like Brims to ensure that the cleaning process aligns seamlessly with the construction timeline, allowing for a smooth transition to the final stage of the project.

The builders clean and sparkle clean carried out by Cklip encompassed a comprehensive range of tasks tailored to the specific needs of The Fire Station Auditorium. Our skilled cleaning professionals addressed every aspect of the venue, including the removal of debris, dust and construction residues, resulting in a pristine and visually appealing space.

By partnering with Cklip for the builders clean and sparkle clean, Brims could confidently showcase their exceptional craftsmanship, attention to detail and dedication to delivering a high-quality project. The thorough cleaning process ensured that every surface, fixture and area within the auditorium was spotless, creating a lasting impression on clients, stakeholders and future occupants.

To learn more about our builders cleaning solutions, we invite you to visit our dedicated builders cleaning page. There, you can discover the comprehensive range of services we offer and gain insights into our expertise in delivering exceptional cleaning outcomes for construction projects. If you would like to arrange a free site visit or inquire further about our services, please don’t hesitate to contact us using our convenient online form. At Cklip, we are committed to providing top-notch cleaning solutions that meet the unique requirements of every project we undertake.

Please visit our builders cleaning page where you will find out more about our builders cleaning solutions or to arrange a free site visit, contact us by using our online form.