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 Reconnecting vulnerable children to essential support during Coronavirus lockdown 70 children and young people who live in families without internet access are being reconnected to their friends, activities and learning. Creative Youth Network’s essential youth workers are working closely with Bristol City Council and other agencies to identify and then deliver tablets to the isolated and vulnerable children and young people most impacted by lockdown. Each tablet will be enabled to connect to mobile networks, and will come pre-loaded with credit for a month’s use. There are hundreds of vulnerable young people living in families in Bristol who just manage to cope day to day because of routine learning support from schools, and activities, clubs and one to one support offered by organisations like Creative Youth Network. Some of these young people will have special education needs or disabilities, and many will need mental health support, support around drugs, alcohol and relationships, or help with searching for a training course or job. The importance of being connected Most of us take online access for granted. The Coronavirus lockdown is having a devastating effect on those young people without this access. They were just about managing before, but have lost support at a time when many of us are able to go online to retain a semblance of everyday normality. Schools have moved lessons and teaching, assignments, activities and support online. Creative Youth Network’s one to one, small group and youth club sessions, normally available face to face, are all moving online. Our youth workers are giving advice and information available to download, and using WhatsApp, Zoom or FaceTime to maintain contact with many young people. In addition access to friends and peers, advice, and sites offering games and hobbies all rely on having tablets, mobiles and data. This initiative will enable at least some of the most isolated vulnerable young people in Bristol to be reconnected to vital support. Councillor Helen Godwin, Cabinet Member for Women, Children and Young People at Bristol City Council said: By using data from across the Council and schools, together with local knowledge from the Creative Youth Network, the police, and youth and family support organisations, we are identifying those children who have been digitally left behind. It’s really important that children and young people can access everything they need to continue their development. These tablets will give those most vulnerable the chance to learn, play, and contact their friends and family for support during this difficult time. Creative Youth Network’s targeted youth services team have purchased and co-ordinated distribution to vulnerable children and young people, working with other essential and key workers such as the children with disability team, Youth Offending Teams, Off the Record, Youth Moves and others to ensure they reach those that need them most. The aim is to distribute all the tablets by the end of the Easter school holidays. Creative Youth Network will offer digital support over the phone to ensure families are able to set up and make best use of the equipment. The tablets will be gifted to the families and owned by them. Our services are more needed than ever before, with vulnerable young people needing more support for their mental health, managing their emotions and are counting on us and our advice during this time. Support vulnerable young people and donate now: Please select a donation amount: * £7 Could cover the cost of telephone conversations between a youth worker and a vulnerable young person in isolation £12 Could give a young carer an evening of fun activities, taking a break from their caring responsibilities, in a small group session online £25 Could provide an hour’s online specialist support for a young person struggling with their mental health Other This is a monthly paymentDonate How can we help?