How can a building make you smile?Reimagining and redeveloping The Courts Imagine a place where a young person’s background, race, beliefs, gender, physical ability and economic status had nothing to do with how good they could be, what they could achieve. A space where they could fully explore their creative potential, receive support and mentoring, and find meaningful work. That place is the Old Bristol Magistrates Courts (The Courts). An enterprise centre to help young people set up their own creative businesses and develop their opportunities. A place where there are no barriers to their future, where the only things that count are their abilities and talents. Thanks to the The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Bristol City Council we are developing detailed business and architectural plans to reimagine and redevelop this historic city landmark as a place that will complement Bristol’s renowned and growing creative industries sector. To get involved and keep up to date with our progress, sign up to our newsletter. The Problem with Creativity The Creative Surplus UK creative industries are a true success story. They are growing at twice the rate of the UK economy, while employment in the sector grows at four times the rate of the national workforce. Creative industries form a key sector of UK industry, generating around £92 billion per annum and contributing more than 5% of the UK economy (DCMS, 2017). Taken as a whole, the creative industries employ about 15,900 people in the Bristol and Bath area. The region’s creatives are estimated to be 50% more productive than the UK average and productivity in creative businesses across Bristol and Bath has increased by 106% since 1999. The Creative Deficit All those positive statistics mask stark reminders about how inequality and other disadvantages are stopping many very able young people from entering the creative industries. White people hold 88% of the jobs and only 11% are occupied by BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) people. Men dominate the sector holding 63% of the jobs. In the gaming industry, a creative field in which the UK excels, 86% of jobs are held by men, 96% by white people. It is also significantly difficult if a young person comes from state education. Since 2010, there has been a 28% drop in the number of students taking creative GCSEs, with a corresponding drop in the number of specialist arts teachers. Our Solution The Courts will throw open the doors to creativity through an open, enabling and supportive environment for those talented but disadvantaged or marginalised young people seeking to enter the creative industries. Floor by floor plan Basement It is envisaged the basement level (the old cell block) will contain incubator space and enterprise workshops for young people. Our plan is to let this space on a short-term and quick-release basis for people looking to develop a business, or starting out as a young professional. Ground floor The ground floor currently has four courtrooms, one of which will be restored to its original condition and offered as a film, television and performance location. The remaining rooms will be developed into lettable spaces for multipurpose use. These will include space for Creative Youth Network services, for creative industries, youth participation work, performance, gallery exhibition and a bar/café.A public entry will ensure everyone, regardless of their physical ability, can use the same entrance. First, second & third floors The first, second and third floors will provide 1,115m² of high-quality office space let commercially and accommodating around 110 workers. These tenant organisations will share our organisational values and ethos for the building.A new lift will connect all four floors, again ensuring full access, while the old staircase will be retained as a heritage feature. We are also considering a green-roof across some of the open spaces covering the rooftop to complement the high-spec insulation, heating and cooling, and energy conservation measures planned to ensure The Courts has the lowest possible environmental impact. About us Blog Ultra-marathon hero delivers inspirational speech to young people for Sport Relief Welcome, Ben Smith! On Friday 16th March 2016, young people at The Station had the incredible opportunity to meet and be inspired by Ben Smith, the founder of the multi award-winning The 401 Challenge. Funded by Comic Relief and #iwill National Lottery Fund, our sessions engage some of the most disadvantaged young people in Bristol. The 401 Challenge saw inspirational Ben Smith complete 401 marathons in 401 days. Since then he has achieved greatly, receiving the Helen Rollason Award at BBC Sports Personality of the Year show in 2016. Now, he uses his heroic story to inspire others, be it young or old, aiming to end negative stigmas surrounding bullying and mental health. Ben visited the project and delivered a speech about how sport has changed his life and mental health. He then had the opportunity to meet the young people and see first-hand how money raised during Sport Relief will be used. Inspiration for young people We work with young people facing disadvantages in Bristol. All of the young people experience barriers that are preventing them from flourishing. Many of them are marginalised, unemployed, not in education, suffer poor mental health, are in care (or are care leavers), are asylum seekers, refugees, disabled, from low income households or are an ethnic minority. Our work helps young people build trusting relationships, get young voices heard and provides a wide range of activities that help young people reach their goals. Young people were inspired by Ben's story and one of them felt confident enough to share their own story of being involved in a serious car accident, and feeling powerless afterwards and finding strength through sport. They were grateful and saw the importance of Ben's work, inspiring them to look forward to the future. Ben Smith said: It’s a real privilege to meet so many wonderful people and see how Comic Relief funding enables them to come together. Sport Relief is a great campaign that promotes two of my biggest passions, sport and fundraising. Having struggled with poor mental health and feelings of exclusion in the past, this year’s campaign is close to my heart and what better way to support than to get up doing steps and being active. I will be sure to get in my Sport Relief steps over the next week using the app! Nick Young, our Creative Director said: I am thrilled to have someone such as Ben come along to our session and inspire some of our young people with his story. We are grateful for Comic Relief funding and how this supports programmes that we run at Creative Youth Network. Our organisation brings together young people from across Bristol and works to support them in a wide range of ways, and something like this is a welcome addition to our ongoing work. The project is funded equally by Comic Relief and the #iwill fund, which is made possible thanks to National Lottery funding. Last time around, for Sport Relief 2016, the generous people across the West raised and donated more than £1.2m. This money has been hard at work in the local area, with more than 100 projects funded across the region. For more information on how to get involved with this year’s Sport Relief campaign, download the Sport Relief App or go to sportrelief.com. To get involved in inspirational youth sessions, check out our programme. How can we help?