Access is important to ARC as part of our commitment to increasing opportunities in the arts for disabled people at every level. As part of our Cultural Shift programme we are assessing and improving the access we provide. Here is our current information:
The entrance to ARC is level with the street and there is level access throughout the ground floor: between the entrance, the box office, No 60 café, the ground level toilets and the lift. The ground floor has a marble tiled surface.
There is both public and service lift access to all floors in the building which range from basement to third floor. Each floor has level access to all areas. There is a mix of carpeted, wooden and tiled floor areas throughout the building.
No 60 is a spacious café and bar with square tables and chairs, which can be arranged to suit the event or occasion. When busy, staff offer accessible table service for disabled guests.
ARC has three performance spaces, all of which have seating access for wheelchair users. The Studio Theatre has level access on the third floor, and can be accessed by lift or by stairs, for people who do not use lifts. The Point is a large flexible space on the first floor, which has ramped access in one of the main entrances to the space, with steps at the other. There are also wheelchair accessible boxes on the second floor. The Theatre space has level access on the ground floor. There is raked seating but has wheelchair accessible seats on level access. We advise that tickets are booked in advance with notice of any access requirements, as seating arrangements can often change with each event, depending on the nature of the performance. Photographs are available on the website to view each space or we can provide further information should you require it.
Participatory Spaces and Meeting Rooms
We have a number of accessible spaces available for workshops, meetings which can be hired, but are also used for our creative participatory programmes. The Workshop and Dance Studio are in the basement and are flexible accessible spaces. Photographs are available on the website to view each space or we can provide further information should you require it.
Outlets and Amenities
Box Office is on the ground floor close to the entrance. There are wheelchair accessible toilets on each of the five floors of ARC. Each set of general toilets have accessible toilets for people with mobility requirements. No 60 Café Bar operates over the ground and first floors depending on how busy it is, with main service on the ground floor. Orders are generally made at the bar with food and drink brought to your table. Accessible arrangements can be made with the bar during busy events.
All of our theatre spaces and foyer areas are fitting with up to date hearing loop systems. Signs are displayed around the building with instructions for customers wishing to use these, and staff will be able to answer any questions you may have. Inside our performance spaces there may be areas where this system works better than others. For best results, in our Theatre and The Point, the stalls are the best place to sit to watch a performance. In our Cinema the back two rows will pick up a stronger signal.
Many of our cinema screenings have an audio description facility. Please let us know when booking your tickets if you would like to use this facility.
BSL Interpreted Performances
A number of our theatre productions are BSL interpreted and we are increasingly asking artists to factor this in when planning their work. Please check our What’s On section. If you could let us know your requirements when booking tickets, we can ensure that suitable sets are reserved to meet your requirements, eg BSL sightlines, lip reading etc.
Relaxed Performances and Screenings
This season we have introduced a number of daytime family theatre performances and cinema screenings designed to make trips to ARC a more relaxed experience for learning disabled people, people with autism and people with sensory or neurological conditions. Relaxed performances have a number of distinguishing features:
- Lower volume levels
- No foyer music
- Consistent lighting with auditorium lights on throughout
- There is a relaxed attitude to noise and moving around the auditorium
- You can reserve extra seats if you need space to be comfortable
- We won’t ask to see tickets until you are in your seats
- If you prefer not to queue please let us know when booking
- We can provide a chill out space should you need a break
- We can provide a quiet space for some of our events, in case you need to take a break so please do let us know when you’re booking your ticket that you might need to use it.
Assistance dogs are welcome. Please let us know when booking what facilities you require.
Alternative Formats or Programmes, Brochures and Leaflets
We can provide our brochure, production programmes and information leaflets in a range of accessible formats. Please let us know your requirements and we can arrange to send them to you, or have them ready for you to collect from Box Office. Some patrons have preferred A3 enlargements of existing print whilst others require plain text large print – please just let us know. You can also download a digital version of our brochure either in full colour or text only. This is available to download by following the link from our homepage.
Companions Tickets and Accessible Seating
A free ticket is available to a companion accompanying a disabled person to an event, where it is an access requirement. If you require accessible seating or have any access requirements, you can download our access form here. You can email it to [email protected], post it to ARC, Dovecot Street, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1LL, or bring this into our box office for this information to be added to your customer account. This will let our staff know your requirements, so you don’t need to explain every time you book.
Organisations and groups can also complete this form – you will just need to let us know the organisations name, the name of the person authorised to make bookings for your group, and let us know what the access requirements of members of the group are, including the ratio of companion tickets required for a group visit.
If you would like further information or help in planning your visit, please email us at [email protected] or telephone 01642 525199.