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 Barton Hill Youth & Community Consultation Report In September, we commissioned Noble Development Consultancy (through Jendayi Serwah) to carry out a youth and community consultation in Barton Hill. We have been looking at developing work in the area, as part of our Youth Investment Fund (YIF) programme, supported by the Big Lottery Fund and the DCMS. This piece of work is crucial in order to make sure we meet the needs of the local community. Find out what young people in Barton Hill think about youth services in the area: SPEAK UP! SPEAK OUT! : BARTON HILL VOICES (for young people) from Firstborn Studios on Vimeo. Who did we consult? 128 young people completed questionnaires 155 young people were engaged in total through questionnaires and events 26 adults completed questionnaires 51 adults engaged in total 16 organisations consulted How did we reach out in the community? We engaged the local community through events, meetings, questionnaires and group work. We held a Mums and Daughters Event at Barton Hill Settlement. We also engaged Year 6 Pupils at Barton Hill Academy and organised an open access event, Speak Up, Speak Out, in December. Main findings The key issues that both young people and adults talked to us about were: concerns about anti-social behaviour there is a desire for more opportunities for young people to explore and broaden their horizons beyond Barton Hill girls work needs more attention girls and boys work around positive attitudes, language and interactions are needed people would like more activities at weekends and during school holidays Recommendations *Girls work for older mid teen girls is in need of attention or expansion as there is a significant feeling by women and young girls that they are marginalised. *Gender based work is needed to tackle a growing lack of respect of girls by boys and to some extent girls who do not have a positive self-image. *Youth work, activities at weekends and school holidays are in short supply but there is a need. Resources that attempt to fill these gaps would be most welcomed alongside opportunities for young people to experience life outside the area and/or the city. Current open access activities are mainly provided in open spaces. Consideration should be given to having an indoor open access provision. *There is wide consensus that young people want/need to travel out the area. This was also the view of many organisations that horizons need to be widened. Organisations should meet to discuss how they can collaborate on this to enable young people in the area to leave the city or area at least once a year. *A collaborative community repair/enrichment project would be a great way to bring people together and at the same time enhance some aspects of the area aesthetically. This has also been mooted within a recent Gaunts Ham Park stakeholders meeting. * A round table meeting of all providers, big or small, at least twice a year would go a long way in terms of laying foundations for joint work and more strategic partnership working, both on the ground and bidding together for resources *Establish a Youth Steering Group to monitor the implementation of recommendations The steering group should have a scrutiny function and the young people need to be supported to develop leadership skills in this respect. This may work best as a collaborative initiative between providers in the area. Read the full report We'd like to thank Jendayi Serwah for her excellent work. This project is made possible by the Big Lottery Fund and the DCMS through the Youth Investment Fund. How can we help?