Baltic Triangle’s £190m transformation in line for award

In just a decade-and-a-half the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool has been transformed from a collection of old warehouses to a thriving commercial hub where people live, work and play. Tony McDonough reports

Baltic Triangle
Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle is now home to more than 500 businesses


Less than 15 years ago Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle was a collection of empty and neglected old docklands warehouses just south of the city centre.

It was little more than a convenient thoroughfare out of the city to Chinatown, Toxteth and beyond. However, it has since been transformed into a thriving hub of hundreds of digital and creative businesses as well as bars, cafes and restaurants.

In 2007 Brothers Tim and Paul Speed launched Elevator Studios, offering space for digital and creative businesses and, along with Baltic Area CIC and its Baltic Creative development, helped push its remarkable regeneration.

In the years since the area has been the recipient of investment worth £128m with £62m of new developments currently on site. They include the £90m Parliament Square scheme being built by local developer Legacie.

However there have been concerns over possible over-development, especially residential, and whether it threatens the creative character of the area.

Following feedback from stakeholders, Liverpool City Council established a draft framework to guide future development in the area to manage these conflicts of interest and ensure quality design and development.

After a public consultation exercise, the Baltic Triangle Development Framework was endorsed by the council in December 2017. In January 2018, the council announced it had appointed LDA Design to develop a Spatial Regeneration Framework (SRF) to ensure the future success of the area.

Following a public consultation in January 2020 the draft SRF was approved by the city council’s cabinet in October off the same year. The SRF also identified the following four Areas of Change and has set design guidelines for each that deals with considerations such as scale and design, connectivity, heritage and green infrastructure:

  • Police HQ and Heaps Mill.
  • Wapping Goods Terminal.
  • Flint Street South.
  • Cains Brewery Village and Hill Street Corridor.

Now the Baltic Triangle SRF has been shortlisted for a ‘planning excellence’ award by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson said: “The future of the BalticTriangle is a vital part of Liverpool’s post-pandemic recovery. It’s growth needs careful planning. Pleased to see we’re heading in the right direction.”

The plan will now be used in guiding planning applications in the area. It will be endorsed as a Supplementary Planning Document following adoption of Liverpool’s 15-year Local Plan, which is expected to come into force in late 2021.

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