Projects : Public Sector Projects

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Spacemakers was a two-year project that ran from September 2002 to November 2004 in which young people, who were aged thirteen when the project started, designed a public space within their own community in the Hartcliffe and Withywood area of Bristol.

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Project partners developed some key objectives, which developed during the project.

These were :

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to involve disenfranchised youth in shaping their environment ;

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to create a sense of ownership, and develop feelings of community ;

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to improve the young people's feelings of self-worth and career prospects.

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The area of Hartcliffe and Withywood is part of a single regeneration area with strong indicators of deprivation, challenging social issues, unemployment and under-developed public spaces. Community representatives and professional workers have focussed on a variety of local strategic priorities including projects that support young people in their personal development and their involvement in the local community regeneration activities.

Major community redevelopment plans drew attention from a variety of other professional interests. Spacemakers resulted from discussions by like-minded individuals within The Architecture Centre, Bristol, The Glasshouse, London, Bristol City Council and Hartcliffe Community Campus.

Representatives from these organisations formed the project steering group. In July 2002 they appointed Mark Rooney, an architect with experience in marketing and as a football coach, as project manager. Other partners included mentors from a local school and a youth worker from the youth locality team. Shortly after this a project artist, Kathrin Böhm also joined the project. Towards the end of the project a Landscape Architect, Greg White of Loci Design was appointed by the young people in the project to help them realise the final brief.

Funding and support-in-kind was given by Withywood Community School, youth locality team and Architecture Centre, and further grants were awarded by ERDF Urban 2, The Home Office, Living Spaces (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) and Children and Young People's Services at Bristol City Council.

The total budget for Spacemakers was approximately £202,250, with £150,000 allocated to capital costs.