Baltic Creative is a Community Interest Company, established in 2009 with the ambition to protect property within Liverpool city centre for those working in creative industries.
With the help of a Charity Bank loan, Baltic Creative purchased and refurbished a new property that will provide additional workspace upon its completion at the end of 2018. Here, Managing Director Mark Lawler discusses the rapid development of Baltic Creative CIC over the past nine years and how its growth and impact is being supported by Charity Bank loans.
“In the lead up to Liverpool becoming the European capital of culture in 2008, opportunities arose to support the city’s creative and cultural aspects. Baltic Creative CIC was born out of one of these opportunities, inspired by an ambition to nurture the local creative industry.
“To prevent artists and creative companies from being forced out of the city due to rising rents, we purchased and refurbished a block of 18 warehouses in an area known as the Baltic Triangle.
“These were developed into diverse and affordable workspaces for anyone working within the city’s booming creative and digital sector. Workspaces range from a single desk in a co-working space to a 15,000 sq. ft. music and arts venue. Tenants work across many different disciplines from photography and architecture to print production and software development.
“By 2015, we had developed and filled all the spaces in our original properties and had a considerable waiting list. So, we committed to helping more people in the creative and digital sector by purchasing several additional properties for further development. For the most recent of these, we needed to source additional funding.
"As we have developed, we’ve become increasingly conscious of sourcing our services from likeminded organisations whose social impact aims align with our own. This is one of the main reasons we chose to work with Charity Bank.
“It’s invaluable to have a lender who truly understands your model and who can fully support your ambitions and social objectives. It was immediately clear from our first meeting with Charity Bank that they met these needs. It’s been such a rewarding relationship and we’re now in the process of taking out a second loan.
“We’d like to thank everyone who has invested or saved their money with Charity Bank to make this possible. The more people and organisations that support social change by consciously investing and saving their money, the greater the impact organisations like Baltic Creative can make.”