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 Kayla's Story For Youth Work Week 2018, we are celebrating the unsung heroes of communities: youth workers. Kayla tells us what a day in her life is: I am Kayla, I love to do gymnastics and be in school. I have brown eyes, fair brown hair and skin that shows a combination of Liverpool and Jamaica. I love making friends and trying new things, I’ve been like this my whole life. I was brought up around boys, 5 brothers in total, so I had to adapt. I liked cars and combat figures because I had to. Not forgetting my 3 sisters, I braid their hair every morning and teach them how to be polite. I have 8 siblings in total, wow! On a good day, our house is fun. On an okay day, it’s busy. On a bad day, it’s just loud. My favourite day is Wednesday, it’s Women Wednesday (girls’ football, yes!). I get to spend the day with my favourite teacher. And most important, I get to hang around at youth club. When I get home from school, I get changed into a comfortable outfit. Then I walk there with Fabian, my brother. On the walk there we see the trees shivering in the cold breeze, the leaves ripple up into the air and the sun shines down on my skin. I take the path through the local park, and that’s when I see my destination: Hillfields Youth Club. It doesn’t look like very much but from the inside there’s a whole lot more to it. The first thing I see when I walk in is the smile on my friends’ faces. Then I look at the people who really take care of me, Roisin, Lucy, Richard and Harriet. Roisin is generous with curly black hair that makes her look like she’s as fierce as a panther. Lucy is a caring supporter with straight brown hair and glasses perched on her nose which makes her look original. Rich, the music man, who led me through my arts award, which seemed like a mountain I couldn’t climb at the start. And Harriet, the kind lady with cool trainers who’s amazing at sorting out problems. Even though other people don’t think they’re heroes, to me, they definitely are. When I see them I picture them wearing capes and flying round rescuing people. Youth Club is an open space where we can have fun and play, where we can share our emotions and feel comfortable. Youth Club is safe. Youth Club is run by heroes. My heroes. If you'd like to see more heroes in Bristol, have you considered supporting us? How can we help?