The Courts Youth Steering Group

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.  


The Courts Youth Steering Group Updates

  • Ujima Radio Interview | The Courts Youth Steering Group

    Our Courts Youth Involvement Group, were invited to be interviewed at Ujima Radio. They were able to make useful contacts for their future creative careers and learn more about the music and radio industries. Read more

  • The Courts Youth Steering Group Artwork

    The Courts Youth Steering Group have created artwork in response to their research and visits to the old magistrates courts. Read more

  • Meet The Courts Youth Steering Group

    Our youth steering group make vital decisions within the Courts redevelopment. The group consists of young people, most of which are aiming to break into the creative industries and want to help create a space for young people and creative businesses. Read more

  • Help create Bristol's next Creative Enterprise Hub

    16-25 and interested in the creative enterprise industries?
    Help us regenerate the Old Magistrates Court into a professional hub for young people and the creative industries. Join the steering group now. Read more

  • Call Out: The Courts

    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! Read more

  • The Courts Youth Steering Group: An Introduction

    The steering group cares about Bristol’s creative sector - we each want to help make The Courts a space that is truly inclusive and inspiring for our peers.
    Our work so far has been varied. We’ve all got different creative interests, so it’s exciting to collaborate within the steering group. Read more

The Courts History

  • More than horrible histories: exploring stories from Bristol’s Old Magistrates Courts

    As part of our work to redevelop the old Magistrates Courts, social historians Rose Wallis and Laura Harrison, and UWE History students, have been working with the project’s youth steering group to explore the stories of the people who passed through the courts. Read more

  • What We've Found

    Before the mid-1800s, children faced the same punishments as adults and were tried in the same courts. Sometimes their age was taken into account, but there wasn’t a separate system of youth justice or custodial institutions just for young people. Read more

  • A Police Court or a People’s Court?

    The magistrates or police courts were opened in March 1880. They dealt with a range of what were considered minor offences from common assaults to petty theft, to truancy and driving violations. Like modern magistrates courts, decisions were made without a jury, leaving the most serious cases to be tried at the jury courts. Read more

  • Images of Justice

    Have you spotted Lady Justice perched above the entrance to the courts on Bridewell Street? The sword in her right hand symbolises the power of judgment, and the scales in her left, the careful weighing of evidence. Her statue is supported by the city’s coat of arms, and carved details of a torch representing the light of truth, and the sword and scales of justice. Read more