As we work towards developing The Courts on Bridewell Street into a Creative Enterprise Hub, young people's voices are crucial to making this an inclusive space, where young people from all backgrounds can benefit.

Our youth steering group is working hard to ensure the vision for the space is innovative, bold and meets their needs. Going around the UK and visiting organisations and seeing re-developed buildings has made a real difference for the group. Here's Grant's experience: 

The Courts will be a Creative Enterprise Hub for those aged 16+. I’ll soon be turning 26, so my interest as a steering group member for the project is the older age of the young people bracket. I'm looking more at what can be provided to those who are 23-25 and in a similar situation to myself: not in employment but wanting a job in the creative industries.

The steering group is here to suggest ideas, which could potentially be part of The Courts, in what the space can offer and how it looks on the inside.

Going out of my comfort zone

In the last three weeks, I’ve taken part in two visits to learn from other organisations that have done similar projects. The first one was to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle, which in my experience as being a person that really hasn’t left Bristol much, was a good learning experience for myself.

Before the trip I’d never been on a plane, so doing the trip opened my mind to something that I previously would have never done. The timing on being on the steering group couldn't have come at a better time for me personally!

The second visit I went on was to Manchester, again being mostly based in Bristol, all four cities I visited opened my mind about how different each city is compared to Bristol. All the places I’ve been with this steering group have been a real eye opener, from the brilliant open space building of Wasps Studios at Briggate in Glasgow, to the character of the old prison at Orkney Street Enterprise, all the way to the community feeling of AWOL Studios in Manchester. All of these places have given me plenty to think about in regards to how The Courts could look like when it is completed.

What I've learnt

Lessons I’ve learnt from the trips and things I’ll be taken back to the rest of the steering group is how important affordable space to work in and have work be shown in is. Providing space to do this is good. I’ve also been impressed with how the places I went to felt open and that is was ok to be there. It made me realise that not having a welcoming space would affect the work you do in them. Being comfortable and good interior design will affect the mood of the building.

The next steps for the steering group is to meet on Thursdays and Fridays fortnightly to create mood boards and talk about what we have seen on the trips. Then we will come up with how The Courts would be used for the next generation of budding creative people in Bristol.

Thank you for welcoming us!

On the trips I was able to visit the following places and would like to thank them for their time:

Glasgow - Briggate - Rookie Oven - Orkney Street Enterprise - SWG3

Edinburgh - Summerhall

Newcastle - Live Theatre

Manchester - Contact Theatre - AWOL Studios - Royal Exchange Theatre

Find out more about the The Courts redevelopment project