Years in the planning, the £11million Auditorium is being built on a former car park next door to The Fire Station and, once complete, will share an entrance with the arts venue.
Sunderland-based Brims began construction last September on the multi-purpose music, comedy, arts and theatre space and resumed following a pause during lockdown.
Designed pre-coronavirus with a capacity of 450 people seated or 800 standing, The Auditorium lies between the size of the neighbouring 2,000-seater Empire and smaller music venues such as Independent and is a mid-size venue that should stamp Sunderland on the touring circuit route for a host of gigs and other performances.
The Sunderland Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust is behind the development and secured a £6.25million award from Arts Council England‘s Capital: Large Grants programme, funded by the National lottery, to build the venue, which marks the final phase of the regeneration of this corner of the city into a culture quarter.
Paul Callaghan, Chair of the Music, Arts and Culture Trust, said “Brims are making good progress on the Auditorium and are on schedule to complete the building by late Spring 2021.
“With a period for fit-out and pre-opening preparations, we are looking forward to the first performances in mid-2021. The steel frame is now complete and the roof and structural brickwork are underway.
“This shows the size and scale of the building and how it sits with the Empire and other surrounding buildings. With the external restoration of the Fire Station, the Dun Cow and the Peacock now finished, Sunderland’s Culture Quarter is looking really good.”
The Auditorium is one in a number of new developments in this area of the city centre. Over the road, the Town Park next to the Minster has been completely redeveloped as part of the Bishopwearmouth Townscape Heritage Scheme, which has also seen repair works undertaken on the historic Dun Cow and Peacock pubs.
Meanwhile, construction of the new City Hall is taking place on the former Vaux site as part of the new Riverside Urban Quarter.
Originally published 14th August 2020 by Sunderland Echo. Source