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 Towards greener youth hubs Young people are more and more worried about their futures. We see this in our work: climate grief is real and it's here. The numerous youth strikes for climate from across the world show us how we all should be doing our best to work towards environmental practices becoming the norm rather than the exceptional in all practices. As a youth organisation, our activities are run all across Bristol and South Gloucestershire in numerous venues. This is how we're working towards being more environmentally friendly, making manageable changes in how we run our buildings. Buying local We now buy recycled paper and stationery from local suppliers where possible and those suppliers with green credentials for more specific items. For example, we use The Green Office for our stationary needs. We’ve switched to recycled toilet paper and have installed new toilet roll dispensers across site - it's already cut 40% of our current usage. We use cleaning products and chemicals from Avanti’s ‘Green Leaf’ range where possible. We’re also buying 5L containers of cleaning liquids that can then be decanted into recycled smaller bottles. We’ve changed our milk supplier to Milk and More who support local dairies and use re-usable glass bottles Electric Supply: All electric is supplied by Bristol Energy (owned by Bristol City Council) who use their investments to put money back into social and environmental challenges in the local area. The energy is 51% renewably sourced (compared to 29% on the National Grid) and they also support renewable generators so this percentage will grow in time. Gas - Our gas is supplied by Orsted who source 75% green energy from offshore windfarms and bioenergy, and aim to fully phase out coal by 2023 and to be carbon neutral by 2025. Recycling and Waste Management We have upgraded our internal recycling facilities – this is still on-going so all spaces will have better, sturdier recycling facilities. We have battery recycling point at The Station, which is installed under the stairs on the Ground Floor in our new recycling area. An electrical recycling bin is now housed in the workshop corridor at The Station. There is now a food waste caddy in the reception office and larger food waste bin in yard. Our bar provider now uses biodegradable cups supplied by Vegware. Access codes now need to be entered on all printers when jobs are sent to print, no more accidental printing! Wellbeing New plants purchased for office spaces and communal areas for better air quality Future Ideas We'd like to have a solar powered phone charging station in our courtyard. A covered bike rack in the courtyard with additional spaces for bikes. Improving herb gardens in court yard, potentially a propagator in the chillout. We also encourage these small personal actions…. Reusable coffee cup and water bottle - we fill up water bottles at reception. Reusable plastic bags stored in the office for shopping. Printing on both sides of paper and not printing more than you need. Changing margin sizes in word documents to use less paper when printing if appropriate. Remembering to fully shut down computers and monitors when staff leave for the day to save energy. We are working on an automatic pop-up reminder! Every year we're taking more steps towards running more environmentally friendly youth clubs. These are actions we've taken in just one of our teams and there are many more across the board: from artistic projects focused on raising awareness of climate change, to activities in youth centres which focus on encouraging healthy, environmentally focused life styles. Let us know in the comments below what you'd like to see more of from your youth hubs. How can we help?