The Court House is an independent non-profit venue which hosts a year-round programme of music and arts events. Sitting in the heart of the seaside city of Bangor, Co Down, it opened in October 2022, to provide a much-needed home for the local arts community and help drive local regeneration.
Sitting in the heart of Bangor, Co Down, the Court House is leading a cultural renaissance and helping rebuild a community with its programme of creative events. Since opening its doors in October 22 as Bangor’s only dedicated music and arts venue, it has also breathed new life into the economy, and is reconnecting local people with their city centre and seafront.
The iconic venue, once the third largest branch of the Belfast Banking Company, was built during the 1860s before taking on a new role as a magistrate’s court in the 1950s. But once the court closed its doors in 2013, the spectacular Victorian building lay empty - until the team at local arts charity Open House Festival got involved. Now, after seven years of tireless work and campaigning, the Court House is up and running once again, this time as an independent non-profit venue.
The building comes with four performance spaces; The Court Room, the venue’s main live space, the cosy Open Arms Theatre Bar, the upstairs Drawing Room, and a new outdoor events space, the Courtyard. Alongside international artists, it nurtures young and emerging local talent, and provides a home for the Open House community choir.
It will host 500 events in its first year, from live music, film, comedy and spoken word, to art classes, markets and exhibitions, both free and ticketed. Proceeds from bar and ticket sales are reinvested to support this community venture.
Strong audience participation is driving local confidence and demonstrating arts-led regeneration in action.
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