Culture Night Belfast has been delivered by the Cathedral Quarter Trust since 2009. The event aims to support, promote and enhance the local arts, culture, heritage and businesses of the Cathedral Quarter, and to contribute to a vibrant, welcoming and sustainable city-centre.

Emerging out of the work of the Laganside Corporation, the Cathedral Quarter Trust (CQT)
was established in 2012.

A registered Charity, CQT’s Board membership was structured to represent a cross-section of interest groups and stakeholders in the area including Arts & Culture, Heritage, Business and local Government.

The CQT Board oversaw the development and implementation of the Cathedral Quarter Strategic Vision and Development Plan (2012-2017).

The original CQ Strategic Vision and Development Plan identified four key priorities for the area, to be implemented by CQT. These were:

  • To support the Cathedral Quarter as a centre for the arts and creative industries
  • To support the growth of the mixed-use economy in the Cathedral Quarter
  • To generate high levels of public participation
  • To build and maintain a supportive infrastructure

The 2012 Plan was ambitious and wide-ranging and, whilst some of the key priorities were achieved, others were more problematic. Delivery of the Plan was always going to be challenging given the limited resources of the Trust and the complexity of the ownership, control and economic ecology of the area – despite this CQT delivered a number of notable achievements over the period 2012-2017. These included:

  • Establishment of the Destination CQ Business Improvement District (BID) in 2016
  • The continued development and growth of Culture Night from audiences of 30,000 in 2012 to almost 100,000 in 2017
  • Improved promotion and awareness for the area including a website and marketing support
  • Continued representation for the disparate voices and interests in the area


CQT is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee and a registered charity.

Company No: NI611183; Charity Ref No: XT36973; NI Charity No: NIC101653

The Team

Susan Picken

Susan Picken

Director, Cathedral Quarter Trust

As Director of the Cathedral Quarter Trust (CQT), Susan works across a range of areas including management, finance and organisational development. Susan also leads on the strategic development of CQT projects, such as Culture Night, and leads on fund-raising, forward planning and ensuring that projects are delivered successfully. Susan was Head of the Queen’s Film Theatre from 2008 until October 2017 when she joined the Cathedral Quarter Trust.
Amy McFarlane

Amy McFarlane

CQT Executive Assistant

Amy has worked in Northern Ireland’s arts and cultural sector for over twelve years following the completion of a Foundation Degree in Events Management and then a further Honours Degree in Marketing. She has worked on a freelance basis with many of the larger NI arts-based organisations supporting the planning and delivery of a diverse range of artistic events and projects including Belfast Mela, Festival of Fools, and Belfast Children’s Festival. She also worked for CQT as an area manager for a few of our past projects including Culture Night in 2018. Amy joined the Cathedral Quarter Trust team part-time in January 2022 and is enjoying her new role, learning the ropes, and assisting Susan.
Susan Picken
Amy McFarlane