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 Bristol Young Heroes 2018 Congrats, Maisie! We're so proud of Maisie for winning the Bristol Young Heroes Award for Arts & Culture! She is one of the most humble young people we work with. She's honest, dedicated and committed to helping others. Maisie found her voice through art: she achieved two arts award qualifications, led projects in music as the Temple Records label manager, stage managed one of our productions and is now on You Produce, a course for festival producers. She's also been working with Off The Record on their wellbeing festival and being trained as a practitioner to help other young people experiencing ill mental health. We've seen her grow hugely in confidence in the last couple of years and overcome some huge barriers, so this recognition means the world to all of us! Well done, Keanon! Keanon is a great role model for other young people. Congrats for winning the Action Hero Award! Keanon has been with us for the past eight months as a Sports Apprentice. He's enthusiastic and formed great relationships with young people in our youth clubs to get them engaged in positive activities. Keanon joined us through Coach Core, a Royal Foundation programme which offers a real chance for young people to move into employment or training and inspire thousands of others to take part in sport. He's previously volunteered with Youth Moves and worked on the National Citizen Service programme. He's now working with 11-13 year olds in Hillfields, developing their sports skills and gaining coaching skills. He's also taken the initiative and started working with young people in St Paul's as a football coach for Horn Youth Concern. Awesome, Maria! Maria was also nominated for the Action Hero category of the awards. She's been leading the amazing Unity Youth Forum, a place where BME young people get their voices heard across the city. Her leadership in campaigning has been amazing and she's a great advocate for young people. Maria and youth worker Shaista: How can we help?