YAB – The Courts Youth Advisory Board

The Courts will become an enterprise hub in Bristol for young people and creative businesses, where we learn and share expertise. 

We aim to make this space positive, creative, and inspiring. To keep young people at the heart of the decision making, we have a youth steering group, who will make decisions for the space.

They are creating art, managing events, learning more about the history of the building to bring the space to life and make decisions on how we can make this a valuable space for young people and creatives.  

Find out more about YAB – The Courts Youth Advisory Board and the community on Instagram.

Interested in joining? We're actively looking for new members – find out how to Get Involved Here.

Erected and opened during the 1870s, Bristol’s Magistrate Court provided a space for law enforcement for a number of decades, eventually closing in 1989. In 2021, it no longer serves as a court - far from it, in fact! Some may now be more familiar with The Courts as an events venue hosting gigs and club nights. The building holds a diverse history as well as an exciting future…

As of 2022, The Courts will once again undergo transformation - this time into a Creative Enterprise Hub, after Creative Youth Network successfully secured investment from the National Heritage Lottery Fund. The Courts Youth Steering Group are contributing to the project outcome. We’re a group of Bristol-based 16-25 year olds with a desire to support the development of the creative sector in the city - particularly for young people. We feel we understand what Bristol’s creative industries need to provide for young people and believe The Courts can play a part in making it happen. Meeting regularly, we partake in workshops, consultations and discussions on the redevelopment. 

As The Courts’ embarks on its next regenerative period, The Youth Steering Group are working in collaboration with senior lecturer, Rose Wallis, and history students from The University of West England to construct an archive that more thoroughly documents The Courts’ fascinating history. 

We’re on the hunt for stories and media from those who recall The Courts during its time as a magistrate’s court. This might be a photo, newspaper article or artefact. Perhaps you know someone who worked at the court? Or have a family connection to the building? Let us know! If you’re happy to share, contact us via this form below.

Eventually, we hope to see our heritage research materialise in a documentary, online blogs and as part of an event in 2022, celebrating all that The Courts has been - as well as all we hope it can become. Stay tuned!

Article by Lucy Pratt


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