Baltic Creative five years on
Liverpool’s Baltic Creative has revealed that its tenants are ploughing over £1.4million into Liverpool’s economy every year. In a report commissioned to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the formation of Baltic Creative CIC within the city’s Baltic Triangle, stuff an independent economic review and survey of its 65 tenants has illustrated the contribution the development has made both to the city’s and the region’s economy.
From gaming to design, architecture, music and publishing, Baltic Creative’s Economic Review reveals tenants have achieved a turnover growth of 7% per annum and employment growth of 7.6% per annum, outstripping growth in the sector nationally, and is substantially beyond the predictions made by the LEP for the sector in the sub region. Baltic Creative has created 50 new jobs, assisted over 60 businesses and supports 182 full time jobs. Baltic Creative’s tenants add £1.4m a year to the regional economy. The Creative and Digital sector in Liverpool accounts for 18,906 jobs (along with a sizeable freelance economy) and 3% of total employment (ONS, January 2014). Nationally, Creative and Digital is worth £70bn a year, employs 1.68 million people and represents 5.2% of the UK economy.
As part of the Economic Review, Baltic Creative surveyed each tenant business. 24% of the businesses joined Baltic Creative from outside of the city and 10% of those were from wider Merseyside showing businesses have moved to the city because of the development. The businesses are 18.9% visual and performing arts, 16.2% video, film and photography, 12.7% design including graphics, 13.5% software and electronic [publishing, and 8.1% in architecture, crafts and publishing. A quarter of Baltic Creative businesses bid jointly for work, almost half work as a supplier to another company and 39% collaborate as a purchaser from another company. 75% of businesses said they are collaborating in some form.
Mark Lawler is the MD of Baltic Creative, “We were established to provide business space and be an advocate for creative and digital businesses within the area. We’ve also played a key role in regeneration. What we’ve achieved, what our businesses have achieved, in the last five years is phenomenal. Whilst commercial properties in Liverpool have struggled over the past couple of years Baltic Creative is fully let and our tenants have grown their businesses and are out-performing many other sectors. Our success will only grow as 30% of our tenants joined in the last two years. The next step is to determine how we can grow further and continue to have a positive social, economic and regenerative impact on the spaces we work.”
Erika Rushton is Chair of Baltic Creative CIC, “What this economic review has revealed to us is that five years after we were formed the pace, speed and energy of the change we’ve achieved is incredible. Our emphasis has always been to support creativity and to listen to the ever changing needs of the sector. We’re delighted the survey from our tenants shows they agree this is what they want and need. It is inspiring to see our plans and visions that began five years ago transform into a bright and burgeoning reality, but even better to see our tenants businesses expand, employ more people and help grow this region’s economy”.
To coincide with the five year anniversary, Baltic Creative also unveils an exhibition space dedicated to the memories of Claire McKeown and Paul Rice, founder members of Baltic Creative CIC and two individuals who were instrumental in developing the vision for Baltic Creative which has had such a great impact on the regeneration of the Baltic Triangle. Developed in partnership with Castle Fine Arts Foundry who act as curators, The McKeown Rice Exhibition Space will be a permanent public art plinth showcasing the work of established or upcoming artists every six to twelve months. The first artist to exhibit at its launch will be sculptor Laura Ford whose bronze cast sculptures have been exhibited at both Tate and the V&A Museum.