Deal to create new generation of entrepreneurs

A new agreement between Liverpool John Moores University and Baltic Creative CIC will look to inspire a new generation of digital and creative entrepreneurs. Tony McDonough reports

Baltic Creative
Mark Lawler, centre, with Baltic Creative chair Fiona Armstrong and Ian Mitchell of LJMU


A new memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed by Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) and Baltic Creative CIC to connect students with digital and creative businesses.

A three-year agreement, it will enable Baltic Creative tenants to connect with students, help develop their skills and create new employment opportunities. They will meet Baltic’s diverse mix of artists, entrepreneurs, makers and SMEs.

It is hoped that the students will be inspired to pave their own way as the next generation of creatives and business leaders. The tenants will also be able to benefit from LJMU’s emerging talent pool when recruiting.

Through the MoU, both parties will also be able to collaborate on research projects which aim to be of value to academia, business leaders and those within the digital and creative community.

Baltic Creative will be working with the university’s Centre for Entrepreneurship to work on mutually beneficial initiatives as well as exchanging research materials. It follows several years of collaboration between LJMU and its students, and Baltic Creative and its tenants.

In 2019, the now outgoing managing director of Baltic Creative, Mark Lawler, was made an honorary fellow of LJMU, and chair of the board Fiona Armstrong-Gibbs, is a programme leader for the university’s MBA in scale-up.

Mark said: “From speaking to our tenants, we discovered that 40% of the businesses already have a relationship with LJMU and are willing to offer internships. We wanted to build on these connections so that we could address some of the barriers to growing the local and regional talent pool in the creative and digital industry.”

As well as connecting students with businesses and providing access to research, the MoU’s third objective centres on property and place. Baltic Creative and LJMU will be working collaboratively to ensure regional assets, such as Littlewoods Film Studios, meet the needs of students and digital and creative businesses too.

“LJMU has recently occupied space at the Baltic Creative CIC campus and will work with a number of graduate businesses to ensure they have a chance to connect directly into the creative and digital business community,” added Mark.

Baltic Creative will support LJMU Screen School which will be launched at the Littlewoods site, to ensure businesses have a role to play in the students’ education, graduation and new business journey.

Mark Power, vice-chancellor of LJMU, added: “We are proud that 1,000 people each year graduate with degrees in art, design, digital technologies, journalism and broadcasting, marketing, fashion and more, and are delighted to say that a good many of them stay and work in the city region.

“This exciting relationship with the creative industries is there for them to enjoy and we hope it will ensure they acquire the skills and experience they need to be successful in their careers here on Merseyside and further afield.”

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