And a big Hooray for the Open House Festival team for securing the “Community Asset Transfer” deal to become the legal owners of the Courthouse.
Great plans are afoot for the derelict building.
To date they have raised £1.3m (for Phase 1) to fully restore it and to create a permanent venue for arts and cultural activities in Bangor.
Plan for the development of the Couthouse courtyard (outside space)
OPEN HOUSE FESTIVAL TEAM SUBMIT PLAN FOR COURTHOUSE
The property under consideration in this application is grade B2 Listed, located within an Area of Townscape Character at 16 Quay Street Bangor. The building has been adapted throughout its history for a range of uses which have included a Belfast Bank, a storage facility for lead ore, to a Petty Sessions Court House in the 1950s, which it has functioned as for more than 60 years and was finally decommissioned by the Northern Ireland Tribunal Service in 2013. Following its decommissioning the property has remained vacant and is scheduled on the Built Heritage at Risk Register.
Internal layout plan (Ground Floor)
As Part of the "Belfast Regional City Deal" the bid includes a phase 2 for the courthouse, and that will be a large extension into the rear yard which will create a big multi-function performance space that can accommodate up to 500 people.
The building is Listed and graded B2, date of listing 06/01/1975, Historic Building reference no. HB23/05/011, date of construction 1860-1879. The second survey dated 30/06/2010 records under Evaluation: "A two storey five bay ltalianate former Bank now court house, built c.1866. The detailing on the façade reflects its robust character as a significant civic building. Although modernisation has taken place with the loss of some original fabric, the architectural detailing is largely intact and the original character has not been lost. The building is an important remnant of the early commercial development of Bangor and also of interest due to the history of its changing use".
To create festivals and cultural activities that transform our local economy, community and arts sector.
• OHF events will always entertain, challenge or stimulate. Preferably all three.
• OHF will contribute to the regeneration of the local economy, bringing social and economic benefit, increasing civic pride and developing cultural tourism
• OHF activities are delivered by a professional, well-governed organisation that meets local peoples' needs.
OHF will strive to be the best we can be, always. We will constantly innovate and challenge ourselves to show leadership in the arts community, nurturing staff and artists to be the best we can be.
OHF events will always be warm and welcoming and community -based for our audiences, artists and partners. We listen to the communities we serve and respond to their needs.