Portico in Portaferry Wins A Top Arts And Business Gong

Portico wins a prestigious Arts and Business NI Award as a stand-out arts organisation.


Portico wins a prestigious Arts and Business NI Award as a stand-out arts organisation.

The Portico of Ards arts and heritage centre in Portaferry has won a prestigious industry award from Arts & Business NI. The Forestside Choice Award, launched for 2021, recognises the work of a stand-out arts organisation. The judges praised Portico for “being brave” and “pitching everything at a very high quality level”.

Presenting the award, Lee Cutler, Manager at Forestside Centre, said: “Where convention would say this shouldn’t work outside of the city, they still took it on and made a great success of it. Congratulations to the team at Portico of Ards. You’re doing an incredible job. Well done and keep doing what you’re doing.”

Portaferry’s Portico in action producing a live streamed show.

Accepting the award on behalf of the team at Portico, manager Dr Verity Peet said: “We are delighted to have our efforts recognised. I’d like to thank the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Ards and North Down Borough Council for their continuing support, and all the performers and audiences who find their way to Portaferry.

“But my biggest thanks, as ever, goes to our lovely volunteers. Without all of our wonderful volunteers, Portico simply would not exist. The award includes a prize of £1000 which Verity insisted will be spent on something nice for all our lovely volunteers – a party when we’re allowed!”

Like venues everywhere, the Portico of Ards in Portaferry has not been permitted to open to audiences for over 16 months due to the pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped the team at Portico delivering a great quality arts programme.

Since October last year, the team has delivered seventeen ‘behind closed doors’ live streamed concerts. These high quality streams not only provide much needed work for performers and access to the arts for audiences, they also showcase to the wider world what a stunning heritage venue Portico is.

Its grade A listed architecture provides the perfect backdrop for performers and the production values are impressive for a small rural venue. The livestreams have been seen by people around the world and play an important role in attracting tourists to the peninsula.

To find out more about Portico or see what concerts are coming up next visit: