Baltic Triangle set to grow by a further 500,000 sq ft over the next five to 10 years

From a standing start just a few years ago the Baltic, just south of the city centre, is now home to hundreds of creative and digital businesses – and it is set to get even bigger. Tony McDonough reports

Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle is home to hundreds of creative and digital businesses

Liverpool’s thriving Baltic Triangle district will increase its commercial footprint over the next five to 10 years, providing 500,000 sq ft of additional commercial space for creative and digital businesses.

The creative and digital sector across the city region is worth almost £1bn a year and the Baltic, just south of the city centre, is its major hub with more than 400 businesses, as well as bars, restaurants and apartments.

When Liverpool’s port was one of the world’s biggest, the area’s Grade II-listed warehouses would handle goods from across the globe.

But as recently as a decade ago its streets had become silent and its magnificent buildings had fallen into dereliction.

Area transformed

Since 2009, the area has been transformed, and spearheading this change has been Baltic Creative CIC, a hub of around 130 businesses.

Over the next three years Baltic Creative will have tripled its footprint to 170,000 sq ft, servicing around 200 businesses.

Opportunity map

Managing director Mark Lawler, who also represents the Baltic Triangle Area Company, says they are currently working with the city council to devise an ‘opportunity map’ which will offer potential developers and investors a detailed picture of the expansion opportunities in the area.

He said: “We are looking at double-digit annual growth in the city region’s creative and digital sector over the next five to 10 years and we need to expand here to accommodate that.

Mark Lawler, managing director of Baltic Creative

“Everyone involved in the Baltic Triangle shares that vision and ambition.

“Any emerging business cluster needs to be nurtured and the cluster in the Baltic is only about six or seven years old and to keep on growing for the long-term it needs that investment and support.”

Multiple projects

Mark spoke of a number of current projects all set to create more commercial space in the district, including Norfolk Street, Brick Street, Tribeca and the Cains Brewery Village.

“Developer Elliot Lawless is creating 15 new shop-front studio spaces over the the next six months and Hub Square recently delivered a further 40 units across 18,000 sq ft of space,” he added.

“At Baltic Creative we have developed a further 57,000 sq ft of new space in the last 12 months and we will add a another 50,000 sq/ft New Build Tech Space in the next two years on top of the 120,000 sq ft we currently own.”

Room for expansion

Mark confirmed the Baltic Triangle supports the cities ambition to develop the ’Ten Streets’ project focused on warehouses just to the north of the city centre.

It was suggested Ten Streets was needed because Baltic was close to capacity.

Baltic Creative has plans to expand its commercial footprint

“When we saw that we challenged the notion that Baltic was done, “ said Mark. “And to be fair the council understands there is still much to do in the Baltic and these two areas will complement each other.

“We see the emergence of the 10 Streets project as a pat on the back for what we have achieved at Baltic in building a thriving digital and creative hub.

“But far from being close to capacity here in the Baltic Triangle, we see another five  to 10 years of expansion here.”

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