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 Win tickets to VR World Congress Are you 16-25 and passionate about virtual reality? This is your chance to win a ticket to VR World Congress 2017, the place to connect with virtual reality's most important buyers, sellers and consumers. The leading VR conference and expo is a unique opportunity for you to get to know the industry, play, and experiment with the latest VR tech. With a raft of world-class speakers and exhibitors and bringing 2000 international guests to one of the UK's leading tech sectors, it's where you can find inspiration, find out about the latest developments and make new connections. For anyone with an interest in gaming, VR and interactive technology, this can be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Creative Youth Network is offering tickets to the full conference and expo (worth £300 each) to four innovative young people aged 16-25 years old. How to apply You don't need to have any experience in working with technology or Virtual Reality. What we want to see is your enthusiasm and creativity showing through. Get your creative thinking hat on and send us a proposal which answers the following question: How can we transform the Station in an interactive building, attractive to young people and the arts sector, by using digital technology? You can submit your proposal in any type of creative means you choose. Amaze us with what makes you different; from drawing, photography and film, to animation, app development and illustration, any creative skill you've got, use it to make your application stand out from the crowd. We'd like to encourage you to take chances and send us a short 30 sec - 1min video explaining how you've come up with your idea and why you'd like to see it happen. Dates Send in your proposal by 31st March by email at [email protected] with the subject line 'VR World Congress 2017 Application" and get in touch if you've got any questions. Do you want to have a chat or a tour of The Station before submitting your proposal? Get in touch on 0117 947 7948. VR World Congress 2017 is taking place on: Tuesday 11st April ("matchmaking" and talks) Wednesday 12th April (At-Bristol/Watershed talks, expo in Millennium Square, Official Mixer, meeting area, 360° Planetarium talks) Thursday 13th April (At-Bristol/Watershed talks, expo in Millennium Square, After Party, meeting area, 360° Planetarium talks). Find out more about The Station, Bristol's creative youth hub.