The reopening follows seven years of fundraising, lobbying, planning and extensive refurbishment, wherein the building - a Grade B2 building on the Heritage At Risk register - was acquired by the Open House organisation via the first ever Community Asset Transfer to take place in Northern Ireland, facilitated in part by Bangor Shared Space and different government departments, including the Department of Justice.
After seeing the potential in it and its location, Open House set to work transforming the building into an accessible, multi-purpose arts and entertainment venue, with the aim of delivering both social and economic benefits to the local community.
Whilst predominantly a music venue, the new Court House will also host a variety of other types of events, such as a regular classic film club, literary and spoken word events, comedy, theatre, and talks, as well as pop-up food and drink events.
“The opening of a refurbished and restored Bangor Court House as a new key cultural venue, after years of hard work, marks a greatly positive moment for Bangor City Centre and establishing it as an even better place to live, visit and work” said Alliance North Down MLA Andrew Muir.
“This will be a wonderful focal point for the growing arts and cultural scene making a name for itself in Bangor, and tremendous praise should go to Open House for their courage and commitment to making this happen” added Dr Stephen Farry MP “I’m also pleased that the Department of Justice was able to facilitate the first Community Asset Transfer in Northern Ireland.”
“People in the area know and love the Open House Festival, which has brought so much life and vibrancy to our City over the last number of years” Connie Egan MLA expressed “The opening of the Court House marks another significant milestone in the journey of Open House as they seek to support local music and the arts year-round.
"Bangor Court House and the programmes offered by Open House in this new venue will no doubt add immeasurable value to our already rich creative and arts scene in the City of Bangor."