The arts, culture and heritage
Ards and North Down has one of the largest concentrations of artists and crafts people living and working in Northern Ireland; it is home to a thriving creative industry and this is also a unique visitor attraction.
Our main centres of artistic activity, Project 24 NI, Ards Art Centre, Ards Arts and The Creative Peninsula, provide the focus for much of the creative work; whether it is staging events to showcase talent or providing development opportunities for local makers and artists, there is always something to enjoy.
The area of Ards and North Down is committed to developing the Arts and Theatre industry, and with support from the Department of Employment and Learning and South Eastern Regional College (SERC), a £12M Performing Arts and Technology Innovation Centre has been built at SERC in Bangor. The 350 seat theatre provides high specification, bespoke accommodation for the Schools of Performing and Creative Arts, Manufacturing and Electrical Engineering and Computer and Software Engineering.
The Somme Museum examines Ireland's role in the 1st World War with special reference to the cross-community involvement in the 3 local volunteer Divisions: the 10th and 16th (Irish) Divisions and the 36th (Ulster) Division. Guided tours bring the visitor back in time to 1910 where they learn about the Home Rule Crisis, recruiting and training of men and life in the trenches.
North Down Museum packs a lot into a small space, telling the history of the area from the Bronze Age to the present day. North Down Museum is situated at the rear of the Town Hall, Bangor Castle. The Castle, built for the Hon. R.E. Ward in 1852, had a courtyard and stables and the Museum has developed around these.
The area is rich in Christian Heritage. Bangor Abbey, founded in 558, became a respected European centre of learning. Two of its most influential Saints, Columbanus and Gall, influenced the spread of Christianity across a number of European countries including, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. Other sites of note nearby include Grey Abbey and Nendrum.
For more information on Arts and Culture visit : www.visitardsandnorthdown.com