Access

The Royal Northern College of Music is committed to ensuring that all our visitors have a comfortable and enjoyable experience. We welcome all audience members, including anyone who may need additional support with their booking or visit, and strive to be inclusive and accessible to all.

We are working closely with Attitude is Everything to improve D/deaf and disabled people’s access to live music and theatre, for both audience and artists, and are constantly making efforts to improve access throughout our venues.

If you do not find the information you need on this page, or have any feedback on our accessibility provisions, please contact [email protected] or call Reception on 0161 907 5300. You can request a call back by emailing us your phone number. A text relay service is available via Relay UK.

We aim to respond to all enquiries within 3 working days.

Venue Description

The main entrance to the College is located on Booth Street West. You can find a map of the area on our Getting Here page. The precise location of the entrance can be also found on What3Words (reference spray.wing.bliss).

There are two sets of both automatic and manual doors. If you have used one of our bookable accessible car park spaces, you may also enter the building from the car park on the Rosamond Street West side. This entrance door is power-assisted.

All public areas of the College are accessible via step-free routes; Reception, the Café and Bar, Carole Nash Recital Room and Forman Lecture Theatre are all located on the ground floor, as is one of the entrance doors to the Concert Hall (Lower Hall 2). Lower Hall 1 is accessed up a small set of steps.

There are also toilets available near the entrance with step-free access, on the left side of Reception as you enter the building from Booth Street West.

The Upper Hall doors to the Concert Hall, and both entrance doors to the Theatre, can be accessed via lifts.

Please note that although the Concert Hall main auditorium doors are accessible step-free, the Concert Hall Balcony and Oglesby Balcony are accessed by stairs only.

Bookable Access Facilities

Essential Companion Tickets

The RNCM offers one essential companion ticket at no extra cost for all customers who require support from another person to attend the venue (due to a disability or long-term medical condition). Depending on your access requirements this pair of tickets can be located in any area of the venues. Please contact our ticketing partners Quaytickets by emailing [email protected] or phoning 0300 303 4212 to book essential companion seats.

Wheelchair Spaces

All our public venues have space for wheelchair users, whether they are transferring to a venue seat or sitting in their wheelchair for the event.

For the Concert Hall and Theatre, fixed seats are removed to accommodate a wheelchair user remaining in their wheelchair (Row A and Row GG of the Concert Hall, and Row S of the Theatre). When booking tickets, please advise us if you will be transferring to a venue seat or sitting in your wheelchair for the event.

Disabled Car Park Spaces

There is a limited number of bookable car parking spaces in our surface level car park, located next to the building entrance on Rosamond Street West. Please email [email protected] or call 0161 907 5300 to reserve one of these spaces.

There is also a limited number of public disabled parking bays on Rosamond Street West, directly outside the College’s surface car park.

Travel Guide

You can find full information on the different ways to get to the RNCM on our Getting Here page.

The College has bookable accessible parking spaces in the surface level car park on Rosamond Street West (see Bookable Access Facilities above). There are step-free taxi drop off points at the Booth Street West and Rosamond Street West entrances, as well as a taxi butler device in Reception for your return journey.

Arrival Guide

When you enter the building through the entrance on Booth Street West, you immediately enter the main Reception area. Here you may find one of our Customer Service Ambassadors, Receptionists, or Security Concierge Officers, who can answer any queries you may have relating to your visit.

If you are attending one of our concerts, you may have your bag checked by one of our Security team. Please refer to our Security Page for further details on the measures we are taking to ensure the safety and security of all our visitors, staff, and students.

Turning right from the entrance door, you will pass through a set of double doors into the RNCM Café Bar. The Bar is immediately on your left-hand side and has a partially lowered counter. The Bar may not be open during daytime concerts or out of term time.

The Café counter is further ahead on the left and has a lowered counter. For more information on opening times and menus, please see our Food and Drink page.

There is a variety of seating options in the Café Bar – from booths to high tables and stools, to standard height tables and chairs. As you move through the seating area, you may see more seating arranged on your right outside the Carole Nash Recital Room, on the Carole Nash Mezzanine above, and on the Lower and Upper Concourses.

Due to the nature of our events programme and College activity, you may not always find the same seating layout each time you visit. If you can’t spot seating that suits your needs, please don’t hesitate to ask a member of our Front of House team.

If your access requirements mean it would be beneficial for you to enter the event venue early in order to familiarise yourself with your surroundings without crowds around you, or, for unreserved seating events, you require a seat in a certain area (near the front to lip-read; on an aisle for easy exit etc), please ask for the Front of House Duty Manager when you arrive, and they will assist you.

Finding the RNCM Concert Hall:
If you pass directly through the Café Bar seating area from Reception, you will find the Lower Hall 1 door to the Concert Hall (up six small steps). The Lower Hall 2 door provides step-free access and is located a short distance to the left of Lower Hall 1. If you are seated in the Upper Hall, you can go up the first set of Concourse stairs to the Lower Concourse, where you will find the Upper Hall door on the left next to a pillar. There is a passenger lift on the right-hand side of this set of stairs if you need to use it.

If your ticket says ‘Balcony 2’, you can find this door by going up a staircase to the left of the Lower Hall 1 door.
If your ticket says ‘Balcony 1’, you can find this door by going up the first set of Concourse stairs to the Lower Concourse level, and then taking the concrete square spiral staircase on the right hand side to the next level.
If your ticket says ‘Oglesby Balcony’, you can find this door by going up the first set of Concourse stairs to the Lower Concourse level, and then turning immediately left onto another short staircase onto a small balcony area.

Please note that all the Concert Hall Balconies are accessed by stairs only, and therefore are not suitable for wheelchair users and other customers who wish to avoid stairs.

Finding the RNCM Theatre:
Passing through the Café Bar seating area from Reception, either take the first set of Concourse stairs or use the passenger lift located on the right-hand side of this staircase. Continue across the Lower Concourse, where there is a second set of stairs, and a passenger lift on the left-hand side. The Theatre doors are located on the Upper Concourse, at the top of this second set of stairs. If your event is reserved seating, you can use the first set of doors you see to find seats numbered 1-19. Seats numbered 20-38 can be accessed using the second set of doors, which are a short distance along the Upper Concourse.

Finding the Forman Lecture Theatre:
If you pass through the Café Bar seating area from Reception, you will see a gentle downwards ramp on the right-hand side of the Concert Hall Lower Hall 1 door. Go down this ramp and through the door on the right.

Finding the Carole Nash Recital Room:
If you pass through the Café Bar seating area from Reception, turn right when you come to the end of the main seating area, just as you arrive at the first set of Concourse stairs. The Carole Nash Recital Room is located through a set of power-assisted double doors, opposite the Concourse staircase.

If you need assistance or guidance at any point, you can ask a member of our Front of House team. Our ushers wear black with a Front of House badge. Our Café Bar staff wear dark blue polo shirts.

If you wish to explore our public spaces further, you may find our virtual tour useful to familiarise yourself with the venues.

Lifts, Steps and Stairs

Both passenger lifts to the Lower and Upper Concourses are customer-operated; to call the lift, you just need to press and hold the button on the exterior until the lift reaches your level. You will then need to pull the door open using the handle. When the door is closed behind you, press and hold the button inside that corresponds to the direction you would like to travel – ‘1’ to go up, and ‘G’ to go down. When you have reached the desired level, you can push the door open to exit.

If you need any assistance operating the passenger lifts, please ask a member of our Front of House team.

RNCM Concert Hall

  • Lower Hall 1 door is up six small steps, with a handrail on either side of the staircase.
  • The Upper Hall doors are up 16 steps on the Concourse stairs, with a handrail on either side of the staircase, and a passenger lift option on the right hand-side.
  • Balcony 1 door is up the 16 Concourse steps, and then a further 32 steps on the concrete square spiral staircase to the right.
  • Balcony 2 door is up a staircase comprising of 22 steps, found to the left of the Lower Hall 1 door, and then a further five small steps. Both sets of steps have handrails.
  • The Oglesby Balcony is up the 16 Concourse steps, and then a further 10 steps immediately on the left. A handrail is on either side.
  • Please note that all the Concert Hall Balconies are accessed by stairs only, and therefore are not suitable for wheelchair users and other customers who wish to avoid stairs.
  • Please also note that the Balcony seats have limited legroom and are not recommended for customers who are not comfortable with heights, as the seats are on a steep rake.
  • There are two small steps between each row of seats in the Concert Hall main auditorium, supported by handrails, with flat (step-free) access to Row A (Lower Hall 2) and Row GG (Upper Hall) only.
  • Inside the Balcony, there are three small steps between each row of seats. If you enter at the Balcony 2 door, there is also a set of ten steps up to the side section of the balcony (Rows T and U), plus a further six steps to the central balcony (Rows P-S).
  • For some events in the Concert Hall, up to seven additional rows of seating can be added in front of Row A (Stalls seats, Rows SA, SB, SC, SD, SE, SF and SG). All these rows can be accessed step-free via the Lower Hall 2 door.
  • All steps within the Concert Hall have handrail support.

RNCM Theatre

  • Both sets of Theatre doors are found by going up the 16 steps to the Lower Concourse, and then a further 16 steps to the Upper Concourse. Both sets of stairs have handrails on either side, and a passenger lift option.
  • Inside the Theatre, Row T (seats 1-10 and 29-36) is step-free. Wheelchair spaces are found in the centre block, Row S (seats 11-14 and 25-28).
  • In the centre block of seats, Rows R-A involve going down two steps per row. In the side blocks, Rows S-A involve going down two steps per row. Row U involves going up two steps.
  • For some events in the Theatre, the orchestra pit is raised to floor level, and three extra rows of seating are placed on it, directly between Row A of the main auditorium and the stage (Pit seats, Rows AA, BB, CC). To access these seats, there are two additional steps down from Row A.
  • All steps in the Theatre have handrail support.

Forman Lecture Theatre

  • There are nine rows of seating in the Lecture Theatre; the eighth row from the front is step-free access.
  • From there, it is two small steps up to the ninth row, and two small steps down each row to the second row from the front, where there is then a single step down to the front row.
  • There is a handrail along the left side of the steps.

Carole Nash Recital Room

The Carole Nash Recital Room is step-free.

Our Seats

Permanent seating (Lower Hall Rows A-L, Balcony Rows M-U)

Width: 43cm

Height from seat to floor: 44cm

All permanent Concert Hall seats have immovable armrests.

 

Stalls Seats (Rows SA-SG)

Width: 40cm

Height from seat to floor: 44cm

All stalls seats, while they do not have armrests, are linked together for fire safety and licensing requirements, and therefore cannot be separated.

 

Theatre

Rows A-U (not including accessible seating)

Width: 47cm

Height from seat to floor:  43cm

All Theatre seats in rows A-U (not including accessible seating) have immovable armrests.

 

Accessible seating (S11-14, S25-28)

Width: 47cm

Height from seat to floor: 45cm

The accessible seats in the Theatre do not have armrests but are linked together for fire safety and licensing requirements, and therefore cannot be separated.

 

Pit Seats (Rows AA-CC)

Width: 40cm

Height from seat to floor: 44cm

All pit seats, while they do not have armrests, are linked together for fire safety and licensing requirements, and therefore cannot be separated.

 

Carole Nash Recital Room

Width: 47cm

Height from seat to floor: 45cm

The seats in the Carole Nash Recital Room do not have armrests but are linked together for fire safety and licensing requirements.

 

Lecture Theatre

Width: 44cm

Height from seat to floor: 42cm

 

Other Seating

In addition to seating within the venues which is as above, the Café and Bar areas at the College have a variety of seating options of different sizes and heights, with and without armrests.

The seats in the Lecture Theatre do not have armrests. All seats have another seat on one or both sides, and all rows except the front row have a built-in table in front of the seats. The distance from the table to the backrest of the seats is 43cm.

Accessible Toilets

There are accessible toilets located on every level of the building:

  • One off the main Reception area (turn left as you enter the building from Booth Street West)
  • One directly opposite Concert Hall Lower Hall 2 door
  • One outside the Concert Hall Upper Hall doors, behind the passenger lift
  • One on the Upper Concourse, close to the Theatre doors.

All accessible toilets require a RADAR key for entry. If you do not have one of your own, please ask a member of the Front of House Usher team. You can also ask at Reception to borrow a RADAR key.

Visitors with Medical Requirements

Visitors are welcome to bring any necessary medicines, medical equipment, or food and drink with them for specific medical requirements. Please contact us at [email protected] or on 0161 907 5300 if you have any concerns or special requirements related to the above and we will assist however possible.

Access to the Performance

Hearing Assistance

The RNCM Concert Hall and RNCM Theatre are all equipped with Sennheiser infra-red hearing assistance systems.

Two types of receivers are available: a necklace style receiver to be used in conjunction with a hearing aid (switched to ‘T’ position); or a stethoscope style receiver for those without hearing aids.

If you wish to use one of these devices during your visit, or have any other questions about hearing assistance, please speak to a member of our Front of House usher team.

Mobility Aids

Our Front of House team can assist with the safe storage of any mobility aids that are not in use during the performance.

We offer a wheelchair loan service (subject to availability), for any visitors who require one to travel to or from their seat. To borrow one of these wheelchairs for your visit, please ask at Reception when you arrive.

Captioning/Audio Description/BSL Interpreting/Relaxed Performances

These services may be offered for certain events. Please check the individual event listings for any details.

Assistance Dogs

Assistance dogs are welcome throughout the building. If you are bringing your assistance dog to the concert with you, please advise us of this when booking tickets so we can recommend appropriate seating.

Flashing Images/Strobe Lighting

Some performances at the College may contain strobe or other forms of flashing lighting. As we host performances by external artists, we may not always have this information in advance. If strobe lighting or similar effects are to be used during an event, we will always display this information on the day via in-building signage, and PA announcements will be made.

Baby Facilities

A baby changing facility can be found on the ground floor, in the accessible toilet located opposite Concert Hall Lower Hall 2. This door requires a RADAR key; please ask a member of the Front of House team or Reception staff if you do not have one of your own.

Buggies, prams, and pushchairs may not be admitted to the venues in the interest of safety. Please speak to a member of our Front of House usher team who will advise you as to where such items can be stored during the performance. Please note that all items are left at your own risk.


To find out more about our commitment to providing an accessible website, visit our Accessibility page.