Creative YOU

Creativity is everywhere. Opportunity is not.     

We are part of the solution. The secret is in our name. Every year Creative Youth Network gives thousands of young people a taste and thirst for the arts and culture and the joy, life-skills and opportunity they bring.   

But we want more.   

Creative YOU is our campaign showcasing how we, you and the engaged, emerging and amazing young creatives we support, come together. 

We want to reveal how, together, we are ambition, quality, cultural democracy and social mobility in action. 

Every young person deserves the right to access creativity and development opportunities in the creative and cultural industries.

It all starts with education.

If all young people have access to creative subjects in school, then talented young people from all backgrounds can pursue their passion, develop crucial skills needed in so many industries and improve their wellbeing.

1. Pledge

Add your name and join the many people passionate about bringing creativity back into our schools.   

With all the pledges we’ll be reaching out to headteachers in Bristol and the South West. We hope this will encourage local academies to give more space to creativity in their curriculum.  

Bristol, being the creative city we know and love, can pave the way for other regions to do the same, showcasing the true value of creativity.  



2. Sign up

Join us by signing up to our newsletter where we share best practice of how to support young people. 

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3. Find out more

Join us by reading and sharing our CreativeYOU report which shows how our work brings opportunities for creative expression and enables young people to explore their talent, regardless of background or circumstance.  

Download our Creative YOU report


A project that will reimagine and redevelop the space at Bristol’s Old Magistrates Courts is celebrating today after a significant additional grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. We have been campaigning to develop a creative hub supporting young people in Bristol. Thanks to an additional grant from the Heritage Fund, work can now begin to redevelop this Grade II listed building into a community space.

The project aims to restore the derelict Victorian Magistrates Courts in the centre of Bristol, one of the rare survivors of the Second World War bombing. The building has been derelict for many years but thanks to the vision of our Courts team, it will now be brought back to life. This includes full restoration of one of the original Victorian courtrooms as well as the lobby and main atrium, which will offer networking and learning spaces, alongside a bar / café. Historic features will be retained, adding to the unique setting on offer. Upstairs floors will host tenanted spaces for creative businesses. Other spaces will be available for events, such as exhibitions and performances.


The people of Bristol are at the heart of our project and will see young people from disadvantaged backgrounds offered support and training for their future, in areas such as drama, music, film, animation, IT and games design. Many of the people the project will help have not been able to access employment so opportunities will be created through apprenticeships, supported training placements and mentoring.  


Mark Coates, Chief Executive Officer at Creative Youth Network said:


We’re really grateful for this extra show of support from the Heritage Fund. Even though we are still having to fundraise to reach the total project cost, the additional grant money demonstrates the faith everyone has in the project and its significance for talented young people from disadvantaged communities in and around Bristol, and the region’s creative sector. We hope this will help trigger further investment in The Courts. It really is going to be an outstanding facility for the West of England, a development that does not exist anywhere else in the UK. The Courts, and the young people whose lives it will transform, deserve widespread support.


We have been tirelessly fundraising since receiving an initial grant of £4.25million from the Heritage Fund in 2020. With the pandemic, there have been significant challenges in reaching the £6.5million total needed to begin the work, but this crucial piece of funding means work can begin as soon as this September. The project’s other funders include: The Nisbet Trust, Garfield Weston, John James Bristol Foundation, Tudor Trust, and the Charles Hayward Foundation.


Stuart McLeod, Director England - London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “The Courts project has been a high priority for us as not only does it restore this derelict Grade II listed building, but it also gives such a huge amount back to the people of Bristol. It will create a space where young people can be creative, learn a new skill and come together to support each other.


At the Heritage Fund, we want to create positive and lasting change for people and the communities we live in. These buildings are very recognisable; they are right in the centre of Bristol but have been derelict for many years. They are a very rare survivors of this part of Bristol’s pre-war townscape, with some wonderfully intact historic interiors. Enabling The Courts to thrive again in a way that connects the community to its heritage, is a hugely positive legacy for the project. We’re proud to play our part in making this happen and grateful to National Lottery players who have made it possible.”


The National Lottery Heritage Fund is the UK’s largest dedicated funder of heritage projects, with almost £3.2 billion awarded to nearly 15,000 projects in London & South since 1994. They support a wide range of projects including historic buildings and monuments; community and cultural heritage; and landscape and nature.

Photography by: Tom Whitson | Tom Whitson (@tomwhitsonphotos) • Instagram photos and videos



About The National Lottery Heritage Fund:

Using money raised by the National Lottery, the Heritage Fund inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund 

Since The National Lottery began in 1994, National Lottery players have raised over £43 billion for projects and more than 635,000 grants have been awarded across the UK.


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