Charity handed £450,000 Lottery funding to turn magistrates court into community hub

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has handed a grant of £453,000 to Bristol based youth charity Creative Youth Network to start work on its £6.5m plan to transform the city’s derelict magistrates court building into a community hub.

This is the second major funding award from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the charity’s The Courts project, following a £4.25m grant in 2020.

The charity says work can begin next month following this latest funding award.

The building dates to the Victorian era and the revamp will include spaces for events, exhibitions and performances. Young people will be offered training in the creative arts, technology and games design and advice on finding work, training and mentors.

Included in the development is to turn one of the courtrooms into a main atrium area with a bar and café. Through the overhaul the charity is looking to keep the building’s historic features, says the charity.

“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,” said Creative Youth Network chief executive Mark Coates.

“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.”

“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,” added National Lottery Heritage Fund London and South director Stuart McLeod.

“It will create a space where young people can be creative, learn a new skill and come together to support each other.”

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