Located to the south of the city centre, the Baltic District has been transformed from a largely abandoned area of derelict warehouses into a thriving creative and cultural hub. Tony McDonough reports
An expert team of urban designers and planners is to create a new masterplan to protect Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle district – one of the city’s most important cultural assets.
Located just to the south of the city centre, the Baltic District has been transformed from a largely abandoned 37.6 hectare area of derelict warehouses into a thriving creative and cultural hub in just a decade.
It is now home to hundreds of digital and creative businesses as well as a number of popular bars and leisure venues. Its success has also attracted a number of residential developers looking to cash in on the popularity of the district.
Since January 2012, £128m has been invested in new developments with a further £62m currently on site. This has created tensions with fears new developments could push out the very occupants that have been key to its success.
Last summer, there were initial objections to a plan by Legacie Developments to create 500 new apartments in an £80m scheme. The project will mean the closure of the popular Constellations venue.
That dispute was settled and the development will go ahead but now the city council wants to put a proper plan in place to ensure the Baltic area continues to grow and thrive and has appointed LDA Design, who led the masterplanning for the regeneration of London’s Olympic Park, is to draft a Spatial Regeneration Framework (SRF) to guide the future development.
This new report will build on the Baltic Triangle Development Framework, endorsed by the council in December 2017, which set out a number of design and development principles.
The draft SRF, which will include an expanded area incorporating Cains Brewery and surrounding neighbourhood south of upper Parliament Street, will go out to public consultation in the summer and once adopted by the council would be used as a Supplementary Planning Document to inform any planning applications in the area.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “The development of the Baltic Triangle is one of Liverpool’s great success stories of the past decade and this new masterplan will help guide and ensure this growth continues for the decades to come.
“Consultation with businesses and residents will be crucial to how this plan is shaped and I’m delighted we’ve appointed an internationally respected team of designers and planners who value community led design to oversee this process.
“The area’s position as one of Britain’s fastest-growing digital and creative hubs is something the city takes great pride in and we want to nurture this to ensure its future as a major engine in our economy.”
LDA Design will be supported by an expert team of consultants including property consultancy Jones Lang LeSalle, international engineering firm Mott Macdonald, heritage specialist Robert Bevan and the digital marketing and placemaking specialists DS.Emotion.