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 Are partnerships the future of the charity sector? CYP Now Awards The Station is a genuine example of our partnership work that I'm incredibly proud of. I'd like to say a big thank you to all of the organisations involved for your great effort and commitment. Due to your hard work, I'm really pleased to say that we have been shortlisted for the National Award for Partnership at this year's Children and Young People Now awards! This shortlist is for all the work that goes on at The Station by the more than 20 organisations that are based or use the space regularly. It recognises your excellence, innovation and impact. I'd like to take this time to share how we've made it work and the core principles our partnerships are based on. The funding crisis Facing the current funding crisis pointed out by a Unison report in August, charities working for young people need to rethink their strategies. With an estimated £387 million in cuts over the last six years, our communities have been hit and we've seen the need for new and innovative approaches to the work we do. To protect vital youth services, the importance of working in unity is greater than ever before. Not only with the local council, but also with other youth service providers, creating a network of organisations. Together we can do so much more than on our own. Our vision is for every young person to have the opportunity to enter adulthood with the tools they need to reach their own potential and live a fulfilling life. There are numerous barriers in order for this to happen and every day we need to enable young people to get passed them. How do we make it happen? The Station was created following this vision. Bringing organisations together, we now offer: sexual health treatment and advice - provided by Brook emergy homes for the night - through Nightstop mental health support - from Off The Record disability forum - run by WECIL And there's much more happening at The Station as we welcome new organisations to the building each year. By working together, we're joining our strengths and reaching further than we ever would alone. Between us we provide services to over 10,000 young people each year who walk through the red doors of The Station. They not only get the support they were looking for, but their world opens to many more opportunities as well. This place has made such a big difference in my life. I go to Basement sessions on Wednesday and make music, I have food here on Fridays and get counselling from Off The Record. What does it look like in practice? A young person might come over to get a bed for the night from Nightstop. By talking to our reception staff and being in contact with the charity, they'll find out they can actually get job coaching support from us. The same young person might then come and have a free healthy meal on a Friday night in our chill out room. There they'll find new friends and youth workers who will build a relationship with them. Young people's needs are so varied and no matter which organisation they turn to, there's not one charity that can do everything. We all need to work together to bring the best support we can. Ultimately, young people get better support, advice and opportunities where there is variety and where their needs are put first. Mutual benefits Running the Station on the principle of working together, our strategy has been to coordinate these partnerships to make sure resources are used efficiently and we have the maximum impact on young people's lives. Our great partnership projects have brought several million pounds of income into the city, a lot of which we sub-contract to other organisations. In other cases, in order to support great projects or organisations which have the same values as us, we offer reduced or free room hire, rental payment schedules that help to deal with funding shortfalls or join funding bids to allow smaller scale projects to access funding that might otherwise be closed to them. A successul partnership is a win-win situation and we get mutual benefits. It's not always easy, with organisations having different priorities and expectations. That's why we make sure that each partner is clear about what they are getting. We have honest, open discussions from the beginning about what we're trying to achieve and what measures we take to reach the impact we aim for. By supporting and working with others, we are enabled to engage communities we might not otherwise reach and support young people who wouln't otherwise benefit from our services. We are also committed to supporting the youth sector as best as we can during this difficult financial period. The future No matter how great it is to be recognised, our work isn't finished. We develop new partnerships every day: right now we're delivering an NCS programme with seven other partners and us working together is crucial to delivering a service which reaches every young person who needs it. We'll continue to develop new partnerships and work towards our vision of every young person having the opportunities they need to achieve their goals. Find out more about what's available at The Station.