The Beating Heart of Bangor’s Local Music & Arts Scene

July 2023

For A full program of upcoming Courthouse events visit:-


What a superb use of the outside space. This will be a great place for all kinds of events.
The Courthouse team really are pulling out all the stops to put this venue on the map.
It's already a centre of excellence and I sincerely hope the Council will support this planning application enthusiastically.
Proposal Description:
To cover part of the existing rear courtyard with a stretch tent canopy and to install metal kiosk modules for the
dispensing of coffee/tea, food, beverages and storage used to service external performance events within the courtyard

The Beating Heart of Bangor’s Burgeoning Local Music & Arts Scene.

The Courthouse Re-opens on 20th October 2022

With packed programme of events from Day 1

The extensive music and entertainment program kicks off with the Florentina's and Lemonade Shoelace, two young local bands from County Down. (Sold out)
The full program of music, entertainment and events is available at the Courthouse website:-

First Week of Events in the New Courthouse

For further information and tickets click on the button below

20th August 2022 - Courthouse Exterior Works Now Complete 

Early March 2022 - Upper Floor Scaffolding comes down to reveal new fresh look

Early January 2022 - The renovations at the Courthouse continue at pace


Open House Festival announcement:-
After five years of application forms, meetings, set-backs, delays and more application forms we are over the moon to tell you that the restoration work on the Court House started last week. And if all goes to plan we’ll have a music venue on Bangor seafront this time next year.
If you’d like to keep up to date with the restoration work, you can follow us over on instagram

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.


                                                                                                            The National Heritage Lottery Fund has approved an £850,000 grant for the restoration of the former Bangor Courthouse 


Plan for the development of the Couthouse courtyard (outside space)


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)

The Bank Manager's Son -
The Court House, Bangor


Phase 2

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.


Open House Festival presents - The Court House


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.

Quality — 
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. 
Accessibility —
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.

Print | Sitemap
© BangorbytheSea