News and Updates

Cushendun Old Church centre is now open!

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!

After 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.

The 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. 

The 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.

Built 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.

At 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!”

Anna 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.

“We 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”

Mayor 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 come.

“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 bridgeen@cushendunbpt.org

For more information on the Old Church Centre and to keep up to date with news, please visit www.theoldchurchcentre.com

News and Updates

Old Church Centre Open Weekend

We are hosting an Open Weekend for the local residents to have a look around the newly restored Old Church Centre.

This is a chance to come along and see the restoration and get a flavour of what the centre has to offer. (Believe us, it looks amazing!)

We will have the doors open on 29th and 30th June from 12 noon to 4pm – so pop in, say hello and have a look around.

See you there!

News and Updates

Old Church Centre- we need you!

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 bridgeen@cushendunbpt.org

We look forward to hearing from you!

News and Updates

Old Church Centre: May update

Some things are worth waiting for! Here is a final batch of images showing work in progress on the Old Church Centre, Cushendun.

We are within touching distance of completion of the restoration works programme.

Watch this space for announcements on our plans for bringing new life to this wonderful historic building in the heart of the Glens.

News and Updates

Review: Cushendun Big Arts Weekend 2019

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.

Armagh Rhymers entertain the crowds

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.

Naturally North Coast Markets





News and Updates

Thank you for visiting Cushendun’s Big Arts Weekend 2019!

Cushendun Building Preservation Trust wish to thank all those who attended the recent Cushendun Big Arts Weekend.

If you came to any of the activities over the May bank holiday weekend, we would really appreciate your feedback.

It is important for us and for our funders so that we can:

*Assess how we are doing

*Be informed about how we could enhance or improve our activities and events

*Ensure that future programming reflects participants’ interests and expectations

*Provide justification for future funding applications

*Enable us to make our arts, heritage and community events more accessible to everyone

Please complete this SHORT Questionnaire by clicking here

Entrants are in with a chance of winning a £25 M&S Voucher.

The winner of the prize will be drawn at random from the list of people who provided feedback and live-streamed on 1 June 2019.

You can complete a form for each event attended.

Good luck and thanks again!

News and Updates

Cushendun Big Arts Weekend 2019- full programme revealed

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 the painting 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.

There are many early-bird discounts so visit our Big Arts Weekend page now to book your place!