Bristol magistrates' court to become creative hub

Creative Youth Network Image copyright Creative Youth Network
Image caption The magistrates' court is in the centre of Bristol and has been derelict since the 1960s

A derelict magistrates' court is set to be transformed into a hub for the creative industries thanks to a £4.25m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Creative Youth Network charity will use the cash to revamp Bridewell Street magistrates' court and police station.

Chief executive Sandy Hore-Ruthven said it would help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The project will cost £6.5m, and a further £1m needs to be raised before building work can begin.

Mr Hore-Ruthven said: "This is a vision we've had for three years, and young people have been telling us for a long time that they have really struggled to get into the [creative industries].

Image copyright Creative Youth Network
Image caption Rory Joseph hopes the new hub will help young musicians to build a career

The hub will rent out space to creative firms and ensure they in turn offer paid internships and recruit people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Trainee producer and musician Rory Joseph, 25, said: "The idea of a career in the creative industries is not taken seriously.

"Extra support is needed so you can see the different opportunities and different routes on your career path."

Image copyright Creative Youth Network
Image caption The hub aims to be open by 2023
Image copyright Creative Youth Network
Image caption The charity needs another £1m before it can start the building work

Mr Hore-Ruthven said: "It's a beautiful old Victorian magistrates' court that was built in 1860s.

"It's got marbled columns, mosaic floors, beautifully wood panelled room and then the cells underneath as well.

"There is a lot of work to do to bring the building back into life."

The old magistrates court closed around 1974, and was then used as an overflow crown court.

It remained in operation until the early 1990s, and was later closed and sold off.

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