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 Get involved in our Christmas show About Want to get involved in a creative project that will raise your confidence and open doors? We're looking for young people aged 16 to 25 years old who'd like to be involved in our third theatre production, The Christmas Turkey, taking place in December at the Station. Following the success of our first two productions, this holiday season we're bringing to the public a unique performance based on your true stories. Who are we looking for? We're looking for young people from all different backgrounds to come bring their stories and experiences of Christmas. We'll create a fun and heart warming, but realistic performance showing what Christmas is really like, not what it's supposed to be like for each of us. The show will feature your stories, words and experience. You don't need to have experience in theatre or performing, but you'll have to want to get involved and share your stories openly. We're not only looking for the actors who will be in the show, but for young people who want to be part of the bigger group that contributes with anecdotes, memories and true real life experiences. In early sessions we will gather material for the show and script through group discussions about family, food, traditions, best and worst memories, awful and great Christmas songs and your opinions on the holiday. What? Workshops and rehearsals will take place three times a week, leading up to performances open for the general public near Christmas time. When? Starting from the week of the 24th October until the week of the 5th December. Where? The Station, Silver Street, Bristol, BS1 2AG Sign me up If you’re interested, we’d like to hear from you and invite you to join us for a chat to find out more about the project. Contact Emily or Nick at Creative Youth Network at The Station by calling 0117 204 7338 or emailing [email protected]. Or you can just ask for them at The Station’s reception. How can we help?