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 How we enable young people to be skilled and equipped to earn and learn To celebrate Youth Work Week 2019, we're sharing good practice on the themes for each day of this week of Youth Work in Action. Today we're talking about our work with young people who are not in education, employment or training and how we enable them to reach their potential. Increasing the prospects of young people We work with Bristol City Council to ensure young people in year 11 and year 12 this September have bright prospects ahead by working on the September Guarantee, which requires local authorities to find education and training places for 16 and 17 year olds, to ensure that every young person has the opportunity to gain skills and qualifications to help them progress to higher education, work and prosper in adult life. We’re pleased to announce that this year we’ve enabled 92.5% of young people in year 11 and year 12 in Bristol to go forward into education, employment or training. This is a significant improvement for the city, an increase from the 89.7% achieved last year. In addition, our West of England Works team works tirelessly throughout the year providing one to one support. Young people we work with face multiple barriers. We establish relationships based on trust to be able to explore how they can overcome these barriers. For example, we work with numerous young people who are at risk of homelessness due to complicated relationships with their families. Others are experiencing mental health problems, which is difficult to get support for due to high needs thresholds and waiting lists. We also see more and more young people with learning difficulties which were never officially diagnosed, resulting in a lack of basic skills. This is why our support always is: flexible - we meet young people where they are. This applies not only in the metaphorical sense, but also the practical one - we travel across the city if needed, meet people in cafes, in libraries, in job centres and their houses if that's what they're comfortable with. based on individual needs. What a young carer from Southmead needs will be very different to a youth offender from Knowle. We address each need individual and work with our partners for young people to have proper support and be ready for work. We also adapt to everyone's learning style and support with applications and interviews. consistent. It's often that young people need support before they are able to make job or education applications, during the process of applying and interviewing, and when they are in a job. We are there every step of the way. Using creativity to inspire young people We often find we need to inspire young people to take the next step in their lives towards their future careers. That's why we run Creative Careers courses, where young people aged 16-25 can come along for a couple of days a week and develop new skills in specific creative subjects. 1. Our Creative Careers courses are always run by professional artists who are supported by a strong youth work team 2. We always have one to one support available for young people. It may take many conversations, a bit of exploration and some encouragement for young people to get the confidence to join a course with others. That's why we have professionals that are best placed to be there to support. 3. One of the best outcomes of our courses is that young people who have been isolated find a community. They join others in similar situations and discover they're not along. They learn from each other, work together in a group and make friendships for life. This means they are better equipped to ask for help, collaborate, develop soft skills required by the world of work. 4. We make together. Each course has a showcase which means there's a clear objective that work is made for. We work in partnership with other organisations (our latest project partners being all the way from Brazil!) and share with audiences work which comes from the heart. Some of the young people from our Creative Careers courses find their paths towards the creative industries. Others choose a different career where they use the skills they've acquired through the course. However, all of them make a step forward and overcome barriers which in some cases had been holding them back for years. We enable young people to be skilled and equipped to earn and learn through relationships based on trust and creativity. What support do you think needs to be in place to make sure young people's futures are bright and our communities prosper? Vulnerable young people need your support. Donate today to empower young people to reach their potential: Please select a donation amount: * £7 Could cover art supplies for a creative workshop for young people who are at risk of exclusion from school £12 Could give a young carer an evening of fun activities, taking a break from their caring responsibilities £25 Could provide specialist support for a young person struggling with their mental health Other This is a monthly paymentDonate How can we help?