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 Bringing youth workers together - South Glos Youth Work Conference Last Thursday we were delighted to welcome youth work colleagues from across South Gloucestershire to the first conference in the locality for many years. Why so long you might wonder? Whilst youth services have been completely cut across the country, we are fortunate South Gloucestershire has a local authority, and equally dedicated voluntary sector partners, still committed to keeping youth work alive in the locality. However, the resource we do have is limited and often prioritised for direct delivery so therefore the opportunity for youth workers to come together to network and upskill at shared events are rare. To ensure isolated young people in areas of very rural provision such as South Glos have access to quality provision, these events are especially vital. That’s why when offered the opportunity to organise such an event, with support from our commissioners, we jumped at the chance! Thanks for bringing us all together and putting Youth Work back on the map in South Glos! When beginning planning the event, there was only one week that made sense: Youth Work Week 2019! While we wanted colleagues to have the opportunity to network and upskill, a key aim of the event was to ensure those colleagues from very rural provision felt part of ‘the bigger picture’. Therefore, we were excited to open the event with keynote speakers from national youth organisations: Mary McKaskill from The Centre for Youth Impact and Sangita Petal from UK Youth. It was a really good event, well organised and ran really smoothly. It was great to see so many people. To enable colleagues to feel connected with ‘the bigger picture’, workshops were selected in line with Youth Work Week themes, and the NYA’s Promise From The Nation: Youth Covenant. Workshops on offer included: ‘Experiencing Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing’ ‘Treated Fairly and Equally’ ‘Skilled and Equipped to Learn and Earn’ In the true spirit of partnership, these workshops were facilitated by partners from the South Glos Youth Partnership; with the commitment to skills sharing and the engagement of participants in the workshops, it’s clear to see how the partnership has been nominated for a CYP Now Award. (I enjoyed) Being reminded of Harts Ladder and the theories behind our work with young people, and to be reminded of the importance of diversity and welcoming all to our services. We also wanted to make the most of the chance to increase the quality of provision, but consistent provision too. Therefore, participants attended a workshop co-facilitated by one of our partners and our Commissioning Manager from the council. The aim of the workshop was to refresh colleagues of the principles of youth work and understand from a commissioning perspective why evidencing our practice matters. The co-delivery of the workshop is the epitome of how the voluntary sector and local authority have led the way in partnership working to ensure young people have access to quality provision. Attendees commented that they appreciated reconnecting with the theory, and principles that underpin our work. It’s important to remind ourselves of why we do what we do and ensure our ‘Youth Work in Action’ is the best it can be for young people in an ever-challenging world. Loved the conference. Having a celebration during Youth Work Week - its tough out there at the moment! This created an opportunity for workers across the lots to share and learn together. People stayed until the end, which is always a good sign! - Sharon Adams – Commissioning Manager, South Glos Council How can we help?