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. How to create your own opportunities to get into the creative industries Hi! My name is Sarah and I took part in Creative Futures, a Creative Youth Network project which enables young artists to break into the creative industries, especially those who are experiencing barriers to accessing careers in the arts sector. I’m a Bristol-based visual artist currently exploring all things digital – from Twitter activated roses to overflowing inboxes! You can see examples of my work here. A common response you might hear whilst pursuing a creative career is: ‘But there aren’t any jobs in the creative industry!’ Well, I’m here to tell you… they’re right! You won’t find your dream career packaged in a neat little advert on sites like indeed.com. The really exciting thing about building a career in the creative industry is that YOU get to decide what that looks like. But where do I start? Right here! I’ve put together 7 of my top tips for creating your own opportunities in the creative industry… Get connected – be everywhere! ‘It’s not what you know, but who you know’. Building a strong network can lead to lots of exciting opportunities. Although meeting new people can be scary, there are lots of supportive groups in Bristol full of young creatives just like you. Even if you don’t feel confident enough yet to strike up a conversation, go along and listen to what others have to say – eventually, you will. A few I would recommend include Crit Chat, Rife, Creators Club. If you are part of a programme with an organisation, ask if they've got a follow up group that you can join. Creative Youth Network have regular lunches for alumni, where we get together to share our latest projects. What normally happens is people find others that are interested in the same topics, and we start to collaborate. Prioritise your practice Sometimes, life seems to get in the way. You might have bills to pay, friends to meet, chores to attend - but if you’re serious about pursuing your passion as a job, treat it like one. Allocate set times to focus on your work – and stick to it. You can find helpful time management planners on websites like https://weekplan.net/ Being part of a programme like Creative Futures where you have deadlines and other people are counting on you helps you get into the habit of allocating time for your artistic practice. via GIPHY Leave your comfort zone The more you challenge yourself to try things that might scare you, the more opportunities you’ll be brave enough to go for. I was absolutely terrified of public speaking before I joined Toastmasters, but the confidence it gave me meant I had the courage to take part in an Art residency in Austria where I presented my work to more than 100 people! Whether its networking, learning a new skill or travelling – get out of that comfort bubble! via GIPHY Be Proactive Want to show your work? Organise an exhibition! Think you’d benefit from a club for like-minded musicians? Start one! Create the opportunities you need. Creative Youth Network has lots of incentives you can take advantage of...get involved and you get space for rehearsals at discounted rates (50p/hour even!) and get put in touch with others who share in your ethos. It can be challenging but you’ll learn lots of new skills, gain experience for your CV, meet new people and have fun – all at the same time! Get comfortable with rejection Rejections can knock your confidence, but you can’t let a fear of failure hold you back. The creative industry is competitive, so you’ll need to have coping strategies in place to build that resilience and help you bounce back. Stay positive and write down what you’ve gained from each experience. Have you made new connections, shared your work? Play a game with yourself to see how many times you can be rejected in one week. Whatever it takes to get you over that fear – and you never know, one of those responses might surprise you! via GIPHY Break it down into small, achievable steps Its good to dream big, but sometimes the thought of all that work (and not knowing where to start!) can be overwhelming and counterproductive. View each ‘goal’ as the final destination and work backwards. Identifying what it is that’s preventing you from achieving it can help you set yourself realistic steps that will get you closer. Try out my goal mapping activity below, using different coloured pens to highlight barriers and solutions. Keep it up! Never underestimate the progress you’ve already made. The fact that you’re here, reading this, shows that already you are dedicating time to work on your skills and pursue your passion. Many people don’t ever take that step – keep it up! via GIPHY How many of these tips do you already follow? What's been the most useful for your career? What's the scariest to try out? Let us know in the comments below and check out the Creative Futures programme which enables you to reach your creative potential. How can we help?