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Total raised so far £16,400
+ est. £2086.25
HELP SEACOURT RECLAIM BANGOR’S OLD ULSTER BANK!
Seacourt is raising funds to buy, preserve and revitalise Bangor’s old Ulster bank. But we need your help. We have big plans for the bank and want it to become a creative hub in the heart of Bangor. A community space with amazing opportunities for young people, artists and all our local residents. With your support we will buy the building and secure Seacourt’s long term future as a pillar of the local community and play a key part in regenerating the centre of Bangor.
Seacourt are appealing to the people of Bangor and beyond to help raise funds to buy the old Ulster Bank Building and reclaim it for community use. A beautiful Grade B1 listed building at the top of lower Main Street, Bangor, it is the tallest and most prominent building in the city centre.
We want to help create a thriving city centre where people can explore heritage, music and visual arts. We offer year round events and activities that provide fun, creative experiences, connection to other people and the opportunity to explore talents.
We need people who care about Bangor to donate or make a pledge to help us secure the funding we need to buy the bank and fund some minor capital works to make it accessible to the public.
We are seeking government support through the Community Ownership Fund and will secure additional funding from trusts and foundations, but we need your help to raise the remaining £20, 000 of the budget as an investment in Bangor.
We believe in Bangor, we believe in its people and we believe that art can help us bring the city centre back to life.
Seacourt Print Workshop was founded in 1981 by Margaret Arthur and Jean Duncan. They wanted to be able to practice printmaking close to home and starting small, they established a print workshop in the centre of Bangor. To help pay for overheads and purchase equipment they delivered courses to local people, then schools and the membership started to grow.
Last year we celebrated our 40th anniversary and have been going from strength to strength. We are now a community of 70 plus printmakers with hundreds of people of all ages and abilities engaging in our programmes annually. We have a strong focus on developing positive health and wellbeing through art and printmaking.
Our workshop is in the heart of the new designated city of Bangor. We are the leading printmaking organisation in Northern Ireland, our space is warm, welcoming and we love to share the magic of printmaking.
Our workshop offers printmakers a place where they can make and exhibit work, explore and share ideas, as well as earn an income through workshop facilitation. Check out our printmakers at work below to get a sense of what goes on behind the scenes:
Our Ulster Bank
Original Screenprint, By Marcus Patton
The old Ulster Bank was built in 1921 at the top of Main Street and is the most prominent in the town centre. The rooftop of our three storey red-brick building with stucco pediments and pilasters can be viewed from all over the town. Over the front door, lions with folded paws form corbels to the porch, which contains the bank’s coat of arms. Featuring an ornate central cornice, adorned with letters and wreaths, alongside baroque scrolls and a friendly gargoyle on the side elevation, this iconic building was once a focal point of Bangor’s historic town centre.
It was set to be demolished in 1990, but there was a considerable public outcry and instead Ulster Bank decided to build an extension discreetly to the rear. 75 Main Street has seen many changes over the years, the bank was built in replacement of the Belfast Hotel, which had been on the site since 1860s, and had other purposes such as The Adelaide Tea Rooms and the original Carnegie library, locally known as the reading rooms.
Our aim is to prevent this unique, historically and architecturally important building from falling into disrepair and disuse but to become a thriving hub of creativity that helps make Bangor a destination of for art.
We are committing to ensuring the building is open for the use of the community for the long term future and have ambitious plans to enable this.
Why should you support us?
Help Preserve an Important Local Building
Ulster Bank is a Grade B1 listed building and the most prominent building in Bangor’s townscape. It has lain empty for 4 years and ia at risk of falling into significant disrepair.
Help us Grow the Local Creative Economy
Our charity brings artists and entrepreneurs to the centre of Bangor with exhibition space, events and workshops and experiences on offer and we are an ideal cornerstone of a diverse mixed use high street.
Help us Create New Jobs
As Seacourt grows so will our staff team and our membership. We will be creating jobs – at least 2 full time equivalent and 2 part time equivalent over the next 5 years. We will create employment opportunities for creatives to the value of at least £17,500 per annum in 2022/2023.
Help Support Artists and Own Unique Artworks and Objects to Enjoy
Our retail offer will support the prosperity of creatives and artists and provide products that will be treasured and give joy as long as they are owned. We will help increase footfall, local spend and will be a powerful economic driver.
Help Improve Mental Health and Wellbeing
We deliver education, health and wellbeing activities and projects that tackle mental health, isolation and chronic illness. Through these projects we see people being less isolated, more engaged with the place they live and having their voice heard ensures that they are part of the community's growth.
Help us Provide Opportunities for Fun and Connection to Others
We will be offering creative experiences that help showcase Bangor, it’s beautiful environs and provide connective experiences with others.
Be Part of the Collective of Organisations Working for a Better Bangor
We will forge new partnerships with Council, arts organisations and business to contribute to the creation of meaningful and enjoyable experiences for our local population and for our visitors.
Help Create a New Kind of High Street
Bangor’s strategy is to draw people to experience our great food offering, our great musical heritage, and the artistic and creative opportunities we can give to visitors.
We want to be part of changing the nature of the ‘high street’ creating a place to have experiences, connect with others and even live and work. The knock-on effect of a vibrant town centre that offers bespoke retail alongside opportunities for experiences and services is greater economic and social success.