Despite the massive impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the creative and digital sector, Baltic Creative CIC is continuing to see strong interest in its Liverpool campus. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool’s Baltic Creative has secured four new creative and digital with a further six lettings in the pipeline.
Despite the massive impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the creative and digital sector, Baltic Creative Community Interest Company is continuing to see strong interest in what is one of the most successful and fast-growing industry hubs in the UK.
new occupiers include community socialisation organisation Liverpool Cares, design and development agency Code and Create, Turncoat Gin and Honesty Candle Company. Between them they have taken just under 2,000 sq ft of space across Creative Campus, Digital House, Jordan Street and Northern Lights.
In an interview with LBN in early June, Baltic Creative CIC managing director Mark Lawler said he was confident Liverpool’s digital and creative sector would “bounce back” from the coronavirus crisis and continue its phenomenal growth.
Speaking following news of the latest lettings, Fiona Armstrong-Gibbs, chair of Baltic Creative CIC, said: “Having such a diverse range of tenants here at Baltic Creative has always created a really supportive and productive environment so it is great to see that continue with this latest mix of new tenants.
“As we all know, it’s been a difficult period and many of our tenants have been working from home, but as lockdown restrictions continue to ease, we are beginning to welcome people back and it’s exciting to have new businesses joining our community too.”
In April, Baltic Creative surveyed its current occupiers to better understand how the businesses were coping during the peak lockdown period, with a second survey issued in July to see how things had changed.
The results showed that 61% of Baltic Creative tenants were working from home in April, in comparison to only 39% in July, with those businesses expecting to be back in the office by October 2020.
The survey also revealed that in April, 62% of tenants believed that they would need the same amount of workspace once out of the crisis. As of July, this figure now stands at 66%, with 7% of occupiers expecting to require more space – an increase of 5% from the first survey.
Ms Armstrong-Gibbs added: “Our tenants tell us that although many of their teams have enjoyed elements of working from home, the nature of what they do means that having a central office or studio space enables them to be more creative, and therefore more productive, when they get together as a team.
“For makers and artists, some simply don’t have the appropriate workspace at home and so need spaces like those at Baltic Creative for their businesses to thrive. We’ve seen that demonstrated with Honestly Candle Company, in particular.”
Sam Wallace, owner at Honesty Candle Company, said: “Making the move from home to having our own studio space has allowed us to expand our candle business in a way that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
“When we came across the space at Baltic Creative’s Northern Lights scheme, we took a leap of faith, especially during these uncertain times and we are happy to say we haven’t looked back.”