Dr Verity Peet - Manager

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Verity Peet

Verity joined Portico in 2015. Until 2022, Verity was the only full time member of staff at Portico and brilliantly fulfilled every role from CEO to bottle washer. (All right, I loaded the dishwasher but it’s the same thing!)

Verity’s background is in media production, heritage and tourism. Before joining Portico she produced content for the BBC, Channel 4, English Heritage, Tourism Ireland and various ‘Indies’. She left TV production to deliver children and a PhD (in something called Pervasive Media - probably best not to ask but if you really want to know check out veritypeet.com).

At Portico, Verity (how long do we have to keep this third person thing up?!) manages (persuades? herds?) a team of 50+ volunteers, programmes and markets the events and generally attempts to look after everything.

Verity is on various boards and committees including the Arts and Heritage Advisory Panel for Ards and North Down Borough Council (ANDBC), the Heritage Forum (ANDBC), Portaferry Community Collective, the Venues Forum (ANDBC), Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership, Strangford Lough Tourism Cluster and Thrive.

In her spare time Verity enjoys roaming rocky shores with her bonkers dalmatian.

Lizzie Howard - Assistant Manager

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Lizzie

Lizzie joined Portico in 2022. She has worked with a host of organisations across Northern Ireland in various roles from managing music, theatre and dance events to rearranging a lot of chairs. Specialising in Festivals and Community Outreach she’s worked with CQAF (Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival), the John Hewitt Society, Belfast Children’s Festival and the MAC.

She also holds an MA in Conflict Transformation & Social Justice, with a focus on the very dry topic of cultural policy in public space; art and architecture enabling social change.

In her free time, Lizzie paints at a primary school level and enjoys watching bad TV.

Craig Jackson - Technical Director (Freelance)

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Craig Jackson

Craig has worked at Portico in a freelance capacity for six years, managing the audio-visual technical requirements of a wide range of concerts and live stream productions. He is fab with difficult tech and fab with complex performers ; )

His ‘day job’ is as Technical Manager in the Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queens University, Belfast. He also has a keen interest in sound design and interactive sonic installations and manages both the Soundscape Park Project and the NI Hospice Sonic Gardens, two interactive permanent sound installations in Belfast. 

Aside from managing the extensive studio facilities at SARC, including the Sonic Laboratory (3D sound for the ear), Craig coordinates the technical requirements for events, festivals and projects within SARC and the wider School. He also manages the Apple computer labs at SARC, administering over 100 machines, and is a certified AVID Pro Tools instructor. What can he not do, eh?

Craig is a keen sound engineer and has experience in both live and recording environments including large-scale concerts and installations. He has been Technical Director for the Sonorities Festival since 2013 and spends his free time being Technical Director for Portico!

David Denvir - Caretaker (p/t)

Davy has worked at Portico for longer than anyone else. He looks after the day to day cleaning and maintenance of the building and is forever having to put the stage up and down between gigs and church services. He also provides access to anyone that requires it and keeps an eye on the place for us when events are not happening. Unfortunately for him, but brilliantly for us, he also lives three doors away so is the first port of call when the alarm goes off!

Davy has been in the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service for over 50 years and is currently Watch Commander at Portaferry. He has received industry awards as well as a British Empire Medal for his services to fire safety.

Christopher Bunting - Finance Assistant (p/t)

Chris joined the Portico team in 2022 after spending several months as a volunteer with us.

Chris is a life sciences entrepreneur with over 30 years of business experience in the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device industries. He now works with technology start-ups in the UK and the US to help them raise funds to bring their ideas to market. 

Chris grew up in Northern Ireland and has worked in the UK and abroad since the late 1980s. He and his family returned in 2021, moved to Portaferry and took an interest in volunteering at Portico. One day he made the mistake of mentioning he was good with numbers….

When not doing his day job or helping out at Portico, Chris loves to sail.