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. Partnership Award - Children and Young People Now We're proud and delighted our youth hub, The Station, won the Partnership Award at the Children and Young People Now Awards. With more than 20 organisations based at The Station or delivering services there regularly, the building has been developed to put the needs of young people first, providing them with a hub where they can get help whatever they need. The Children & Young People Now Awards are the gold standard for everyone working with children, young people and families. These prestigious awards provide a great source of pride and recognition for all those who work so hard to improve the lives of others. It means a lot for our team to be acknowledged in such a prestigious event dedicated to services of the highest standards to improve the lives of children and young people. Dan (16), who has been coming to The Station for three years now, said: “I’m very happy to see The Station being recognised. The youth workers here helped me a lot. They are here for me when things aren’t going well at home and when I need someone to chat. And then when I’m feeling angry, I can put that into my music, at Basement Studio sessions. On Saturday night, I always think I want the weekend to go quicker so I can come back on Tuesday.” From youth club sessions, to sexual health treatment and advice, emergency homes for the night and mental health support, The Station represents the power of partnership enabling organisations to change more young lives and have a greater impact. By working together, we have the maximum impact on young people’s lives. By coordinating work at the Station we make sure young people get the help they need – from a place to be, to job coaching and education, we offer support, whatever the problem. We also offer a range of inspiring activities and courses in music, drama, photography, sports and more. Over 10000 young people have accessed The Station in the past year and this award recognises the hard work of Creative Youth Network and all our partners. How can we help?