Access Info (pdf download)
We aim to provide inclusive and enjoyable experiences for all deaf and disabled customers. This access guide gives useful information on accessing the Attenborough Centre and follows the guidance of Attitude is Everything, who work to improve deaf and disabled people’s access to live music. More information on their work can be found at www.attitudeiseverything.org.uk.
Matt Knight (Attenborough Centre Operations & Resources Manager)
Tel: 01273 678822
Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA)
University of Sussex
Gardner Centre Road
We aim to reply to your query within 48 hours.
The venue was previously known as the Gardner Arts Centre, which opened in 1969 and closed in 2007. The venue was then refurbished and re-opened as the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA) in the spring of 2016, with significant improvements to its accessibility for both performers and audiences. ACCA is a Grade II* listed building, so not all spaces are accessible. However, all key areas are accessible on level access, including the:
- Main entrance (level access from outside)
- Box office (with induction loop and lowered counter)
- Row H in the auditorium (via passenger lift – seats H3-4, H7-8, H15-16 and H19-20 can be reserved for wheelchair users)
- Bar/cafe (via passenger lift)
- Jane Attenborough Studio
- Gardner Tower
- Seminar Room (via passenger lift)
- Workshop Studio
Areas of the Building without Level Access
- In a raked seating format, only Row H of the auditorium is on level access once accessed via the passenger lift. All other auditorium seating positions are accessed by either 18 steps from the front entrance or 16 steps from the bar/cafe entrance.
- In a standing gig format, all of the auditorium floor is on level access and can be accessed via the passenger lift.
- Side balconies (10 steps from auditorium level)
- Rear balconies (16 steps from auditorium level)
- Gardner Tower Mezzanine (18 steps from entrance level)
- 1st floor Green Room (18 steps from entrance level)
Bookable Access Facilities
a) Free Tickets for Personal Assistants
Personal assistance tickets for customers who would otherwise be unable to attend the venue are available free of charge. Please contact the box office on 01273 678822 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
b) Accessible Viewing Area
The auditorium is normally in a raked seating format, but sometimes there will be other layouts including a flat floor. Where a flat floor is used (for example, for live music gigs), we ask guests who feel that they cannot stand for the duration of the gig to call the box office in advance in order to arrange a seat on the rear or side balconies. Access to the side balconies is via 10 steps from auditorium level, and access to the rear balconies is via 18 steps from auditorium level.
For guests who cannot use stairs, we can create a flat accessible viewing area at the front of stage, normally house-right, and guests are advised to call the box office in advance to notify us of their requirements. In the accessible viewing area, we can provide space for wheelchair users and loose auditorium seats for people with mobility impairments and (subject to available space) at least one of their companions.
The accessible viewing area is accessed via the passenger lift from the ground floor. The nearest toilet is a 17 metre travel to the passenger lift and then a further 5 metres from the passenger lift destination on the ground floor. Venue stewards will assist guests and oversee access to the viewing area as required.
c) Online access booking
Some seats are held off from general sale - for instance spaces for wheelchair users, seats with flat floor access, and where applicable seats with best views of captioning or BSL interpretation.
If you need to book one of these seats, go to your My Account page, and click on Other Preferences. There is a list of access requirements; tick the ones that apply to you. This will make the relevant seats available to you when booking online.
Click here for more information on online access booking.
The nearest station is Falmer (approx 500 metres from the Attenborough Centre). The train takes nine minutes from Brighton and seven minutes from Lewes.
Trains run very regularly during the day (about every 15 minutes).
The last train leaves Falmer at 23:45 for Lewes and 00:25 for Brighton.
See National Rail for further information.
From the train station follow signs to University of Sussex. Head under the underpass and follow the footpath until you reach a zebra crossing. Turn left here until you reach Gardner Centre Road on your right. Turn right up Gardner Centre Road to find the main entrance of the building. The Attenborough Centre is the building with round red brick towers.
The number 25 and 25X bus brings you from central Brighton to University of Sussex campus. Alight at the “Sports Centre/Attenborough Centre” bus stop and you will see the Attenborough Centre (the building with round red brick towers) through the trees across a lawn.
c) Night Bus
There is a night bus. Route N25, which runs to and from the campus to the centre of the city, is hourly from 12am to 5am all week. The fare is £2.20 each way. If you miss the night bus there is a special discount fare using Streamline Taxis (Tel: 01273 747474) from the centre of Brighton to the University which normally costs around £12.
At present, parking is not allowed immediately outside the Attenborough Centre, nor on Gardner Centre Road, but vehicles (including taxis) are welcome to drop off here. We are investigating the possibility of creating a blue badge parking bay outside the Centre and hope to know more in 2017.
There is a barrier at the end of Gardner Centre Road, so the driver will need to press the intercom button to talk to the University’s Security team, who will then raise the barrier. The barrier opens automatically on the way back out.
There is parking available at the Sports Car Park (P5), Sussex House Car Park (P4) and Biology Road Car Park (P3), all of which are within 300 meters of the Attenborough Centre. The routes from the car parks to the Attenborough Centre are accessible for people in wheelchairs.
e) Accessible Parking
There is one blue badge parking space directly opposite the venue. The next nearest accessible parking is on the Sports Centre Car Park (P5 on the campus map). The distance from the Sports Centre Car Park to the Attenborough Centre is around 100 metres. There are two disabled bays for blue badge holders on the Sports Car Park, and these are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis (as they are often shared with Sports Centre users).
Alternatively, there are up to 137 spaces allocated for parking by disabled drivers around campus on a first-come, first-served basis.
f) Parking on Match Days
Please note that the University occasionally shares some of its car parking spaces at the front of campus with Brighton & Hove Albion, who play at the AMEX stadium (opposite the University). We try to avoid programming events when there is a football match on, but sometimes clashes are unavoidable. If you are coming to the Attenborough Centre at the same time as a football match, please note that the front of campus next to the Attenborough Centre gets very busy. Allow extra time for your journey and to park. Head for the Arts, Park Village or East Slope car parks. Use the Knights Gate Road entrance (off the A27) to campus to access these car parks.
See the University’s Parking for Visitors page for more details.
a) Venue Opening Times
The front doors and box office normally open around one hour before the advertised event start time. The auditorium doors normally open around 15 minutes before the advertised show time.
The Attenborough Centre bar/cafe is open from 11am to 6pm, Monday - Friday. Extended hours normally apply during show times.
The box office is open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. At other times tickets can be booked online and requests can be made by email to email@example.com.
Deaf and disabled guests can arrange to get to the venue up to one hour before the front doors open. Please contact the box office on 01273 678822 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
b) Arriving at the Venue
The entrance to the venue is on the level. Front-of-house staff will be in the foyer area as you arrive for the show and will direct guests and answer questions as required. Guests who will be using the accessible viewing area can arrive at an earlier time, if required, in order, for example, to avoid moving through crowds. Please notify the box office at email@example.com
c) Ticket Collection
The box office is located immediately on your left-hand side as you enter through the front doors. Guests collecting tickets at the box office will need to show the credit or debit card that they booked with and the email confirmation of booking that was sent at the time of booking. Proof of disability is not normally required, although we will monitor ticket sales and take any other action to prevent abuse of the concessions system.
Accessible toilets are located on the ground floor, just off the entrance foyer, next to the Jane Attenborough Studio. Turn left as you enter the venue through the front doors and the toilets are on your right-hand side. Both sets of toilets have push-pad door openers and have baby changing units installed in them.
Customers with Medical Requirements
We welcome guests who need to bring medicines, food, drink or equipment to manage a medical condition. Please contact the box office on 01273 678822 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any concerns and we can assign a front-of-house assistant to ensure you can gain access with the necessary medical supplies.
Access to Performance
a) Hearing Enhancement Systems – Infra Red
Hearing enhancement is available in the Seminar Room, Gardner Tower, Workshop Studio, Jane Attenborough Studio and Auditorium. All these spaces have a Sennheiser infrared system that sends an audio signal from a room-wide pick-up mic to personal, neck-worn infrared receivers. These personal receivers allow users to either create an induction loop that transmits to a hearing aid or they can amplify the signal through headphones to support the hard of hearing.
b) Captioning Unit (for selected performances and events)
A captioning unit is available in the Seminar Room, Gardner Tower, Workshop Studio, Jane Attenborough Studio and Auditorium. The captioning unit can be rigged in any space, and connects to a dedicated laptop, running captioning software that is operated by someone able to follow the speech. This system either allows a pre-loaded script to be shown line-by-line in time with the on-stage speaking or presentation, or it allows for a specialist captioner to input text in real-time for presentations of Q&A events.
c) Large Print
Large print programmes and running times are available if requested in advance from email@example.com. These can be printed on request and issued by front-of-house staff.
We welcome assistance dogs. We recommend that guests inform the box office in advance and provide proof that any dog is registered with an organisation that is a member of Assistance Dogs UK.
We try to avoid strobe lighting where possible. However, it is sometimes an artistic requirement and, if this is the case, onsite warnings will be provided.
12. Attitude is Everything - Silver Award
We have received a silver award from Attitude is Everything for our approach to improving Deaf and disabled people’s access to live music. Attitude is Everything recruit mystery shoppers and volunteers.