An exhibition charting the history of Cushendun as a holiday
resort has opened at the newly restored Old Church Centre in the County Antrim
‘Greetings from Cushendun’ takes visitors on a journey
from the building of the Coast Road in the 19th Century through to the present
Using historic photographs, archive film and personal reminiscence,
the exhibition covers the growth of tourism in the 19th century, the Gaelic
Revival, the development of the Cushendun hotels and the influx
of ‘Game of Thrones’ coach tours in more recent years.
The Old Church Centre officially opened on the 6 July and ‘Greetings
from Cushendun’ will run until 9 September on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
between 12pm and 4pm.
The exhibition has been curated by the Cushendun Building
Preservation Trust (CBPT) and is part of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough
Council Museum Services Peace IV ‘Understanding Your Area’ programme .
Monica Morgan, Chair of CBPT said, “It has been a fascinating project and we have really enjoyed talking to people who came here for summer holidays or came to work in the hotels, many of whom ended up staying in Cushendun. The village has been shaped by 200 years of holidays and we think the exhibition reflects this wonderfully. We look forward to seeing locals and tourists alike in the coming weeks.”
‘Understanding our Area’ is a cross community programme aimed
at increasing the understanding and expression of our history, culture, people
The initiative is part of the Causeway Coast and Glens
Borough Council’s Peace IV Local Area Action Plan, funded by the Special EU Programmes
Body, which is providing £3.5 million for community projects across the museum
collections, historic sites and cultural heritage.
Work to restore and convert an old church building in Cushendun has been completed and the Old Church Centre, an arts, heritage and community space, is now open!
thirteen long years of campaigning, lobbying, application forms and hiccups,
restoration began in Autumn 2018, with the keys being handed over to the
dedicated volunteer group, Cushendun Building Preservation Trust, last week.
Old Church has been given a new lease of life and will be available for
heritage events, drama, concerts, meetings, community activities and much
more. The building will also serve as an
information and mini-heritage Centre in which visitors can learn about the
glorious Glens of Antrim.
restoration has been made possible thanks to funding and support from The National
Lottery Heritage Fund, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, the Department
for Communities Historic Environment Division (Historic Environment Fund),
Ulster Garden Villages Ltd, the Pilgrim Trust and the All Churches Trust.
in 1840 as a Church of Ireland place of worship, Cushendun Old Church was
deconsecrated in 2003. Since then, Cushendun Building Preservation Trust has
been campaigning for the building to become a community hub with a focus on the
arts. Fundraising efforts included the annual Cushendun Big Arts Weekend and
the September Book Sale, which has been going for 8 years.
the official opening of the Old Church Centre on Saturday 6 July, Monica
Morgan, Chair of Cushendun Building Preservation Trust, said, “For a long time
we had a dream to make this facility a real focal point of the community, and
to be at the official opening today is simply fantastic.
“At times it has been a tough, but we always knew this moment would come. It wouldn’t have been possible without the funders, volunteers, supporters and the local community. We can’t wait to see the buzz around the place in the weeks and months ahead!”
Carragher, Trustee of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, added her congratulations,
“We’ve travelled with this project for a long time, so we are absolutely
delighted to see the restored church open and thriving as a community venue for
arts, heritage and so much more.
love projects that breathe new life into our beloved old buildings and
Cushendun Church is a fine example of this. The Trust have worked tirelessly to
restore the building and we offer them huge congratulations on their hard work
and commitment. It is thanks to groups like the Trust and players of the
National Lottery that we get to fund wonderful local projects such as this one”
Sean Bateson from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council also praised
Cushendun Building Preservation Trust for their efforts and success reaching
this great milestone, “As Mayor I am delighted that Council could
play its part in this great achievement by providing finance through our
Capital Grants programme.
“It is always a pleasure to see that support used to such great
effect and I look forward to seeing the Old Church Centre fulfilling its
heritage, arts and community commitments in this lovely space for many years to
“The Old Church Centre will be a wonderful asset to the villagers
of Cushendun, the Glens people, constituents from throughout the Council area,
and the many that will visit from further afield”.
The Cushendun Building Preservation Trust is keen to hear your ideas and
suggestions for new events and performances for the Old Church Centre. It is
also looking for those with time and a willingness to enrol as volunteers.
If you would like to discuss opportunities or
event/activity ideas, contact Bridgeen Butler from the Old Church Centre on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cushendun Building Preservation Trust is keen to hear your ideas and suggestions for new events and performances to expand the heritage, arts and community activity in the Old Church Centre.
We are also looking for those with vision, time and a willingness to help and enrol as volunteers. Without the generosity, commitment and drive of our volunteers to date, none of this fantastic work could happen.
Each and everyone’s contribution adds value and will support the continuing growth of Cushendun as a growing cultural, arts and tourist destination, bringing much needed social and economic benefit to the village.
If you would like to discuss volunteering opportunities or event/activity ideas, contact Bridgeen, the Old Church Centre administrator, at email@example.com
Cushendun Big Arts Weekend 2019 has been hailed as a tremendous success. Hundreds of people attended the interesting, entertaining and varied array of activities that made up this year’s programme.
Historic talks, heritage walks, music, dance, song, art, games and performances , Big Arts Weekend 2019 really had something for everyone with venues packed to capacity, leaving a few disappointed people unable to grab a last-minute seat at the event of their choice.
Cushendun Building Preservation Trust (CBPT) had worked hard for many months to plan, book, programme, co-ordinate and raise funds to deliver such an amazing event. This is the 7th year of the Festival and it has grown in popularity and ambition each year.
CBPT wish to thank all those that contributed to this year’s success – this includes the facilitators and performers and all those that assisted with catering, parking, ticket sales, setting up venues, supervision of activities, and supporting the event management team in so many other ways.
Tremendous support was received from the local community. A special thanks to the National Trust for their generous permission to use Glenmora House and grounds as our Festival hub. And lastly a very big thanks to the Heritage Lottery fund and Causeway Coast and Glen’s Borough Councils Festival fund, without whose support we would have been unable to host this ambitious programme.
Its time now to take a short breather before starting to plan Big Arts Weekend 2020. The Old Church Centre will be a welcome additional venue and performance space for future festivals, as well as providing the opportunity to offer additional events and activities throughout the year. Please watch the website for details of upcoming events.
The full line-up for this year’s Big Arts Weekend has been announced.
This is the seventh year of the festival and to celebrate we have fantastic headliners including Dr Éamon Phoenix, and some familiar favourites including Share-a-Poem and the Family Funday Sunday.
This year’s John Hewitt talk ’50 years of the Corncrake’ is by Cushendun resident Dr James Morrow. Artists should book early for thepainting masterclass led by painter and experienced teacher Michael Sayers.
Back by popular demand are old favourites, The Art Exhibition, the pop-up Tea shop with scrumptious buns and cakes, and Naturally North Coast and Glens Market.
Celebrating the May Bank Holiday, the amazing Armagh Rhymers will be performing in the grounds of Glenmona House accompanied by children from St Ciaran’s and other local primary schools.