Co-working In Liverpool's Baltic Triangle
The trick is finding the perfect environment for those ideas of yours to flourish, so we’ve been exploring all that Liverpool has to offer to make that task a little bit easier.
Baltic Triangle not only wears the crown of the coolest part of the city, it proves the benefits of mindfully regenerating and utilising abandoned districts. Those derelict warehouses and well-worn factories screamed one thing and one thing only: opportunity. Cue the creatives who crawled into its forgotten corners and worked their magic.
Unfortunately, it’s not unusual to see independent businesses displaced by developers and market forces. In order to revive the area and protect its tenants, the Baltic Creative Community Interest Company (CIC) offered a new development model that caters specifically to the creative, tech and digital sectors. Conditions are tailored to its community and provide a more permanent residence to those who move in and breathe life back into rundown areas.
Baltic Triangle is now home to many of Liverpool’s independent businesses, as well as some of its best venues, studios, bars, eateries and festivals, making it the perfect hub for any budding or established creative. Have a mooch down Jamaica Street, take in the outstanding graffiti art, nose inside the shop front units, and make any one of these spaces your creative home.
54 St James Street & SIREN
What: Business incubator, venue, work space and café
Where: 54 St James Street, L1 0AB
When: Monday to Friday 8:00am – 9:00pm
Entering Baltic Triangle through Chinatown, our first stop is 54 St James Street. They provide office, events and meeting space to a number of businesses and social enterprises, including The Women’s Organisation. Inside you’ll find spacious and welcoming rooms, with large floor to ceiling windows, perfect for those who prefer to work in bright, airy spaces that are clutter-free and smartly simplistic. The overall sense is that this is a creative hub for anyone to get inspired, share ideas, and develop into the best they can be. Better still, the on-site café, SIREN, is a pleasant place to settle into and stay fuelled by wholesome food all day long. The impressive, contemporary building itself sits opposite St Vincent’s church and round the corner from Pilgrims Progress Antiques. This juxtaposition between old and new is part of what gives Baltic Triangle its charm, which you can admire from the centre’s lofty windows and rooftop terrace.
What: Creative hub
Where: 25 – 31 Parliament Street, L8 5RN
When: 24 hours 7 days a week
For those looking for space that has room for mess and character, Elevator Studios is like a giant playground for all the city’s inventors. It is Liverpool’s largest creative hub, home to independent retailers, art collectives, digital agencies, designers, musicians, the lot! Not to mention Elevator’s state of the art recording studio and the beloved Baltic Social; a vital meeting point and hangout for Baltic’s community, and a great spot in itself to work from during the day. The decision to maintain the industrial features of the warehouse reinforces Elevator as a place to make and fix things, with each workspace decked out to suit the personality and needs of whoever fills it. With pillars, brick walls, low beams, and mismatched furniture in large open plan floors, there is plenty of space to be yourself, whilst mingling with fellow creatives.
What: Co-working space, venue, studio and business incubator
Where: Second Floor, Elevator Studios, L8 5RN
When: 24 hours 7 days a week
Inside Elevator Studios you’ll also find Make Liverpool, a space designed for and by creatives. The founders combined their experience of running businesses, mentoring and crafting to support start-ups and provide opportunities to experiment with your craft. They also offer classes and workshops to the public; from printing and needlework to building your own wine rack, they’re encouraging the creative that lies in all of us. The open-plan co-working space is divided into unique spots for the abundance of projects and makers who call it home. Each space reflects the spirit of the occupants, who gravitate to the communal kitchen or head to their meeting space for workshops. A membership at Make will give you much more than room to grow – this is where those random opportunities and unexpected collaborations are bound to happen.
Baltic Creative Campus & Unit 51
What: Workspace, café, bar and social space
Where: 49 Jamaica Street, L1 0AH
When: Weekdays 8:30am – 6pm, Weekends 9am – 5:30pm
At the heart of the Triangle is Baltic Creative, the driving force behind this cultural renaissance. Utilising the openness of a warehouse in true creative fashion, inside you’ll find an indoor village that aids collaboration and provides a unique business space for the Baltic community. It comes complete with terraced shed-rooms, walkways, indoor plants, and dotted with comfortable hangout spots; your friendly neighbourhood of creative industries. At the forefront of the Baltic Creative Campus is Unit 51 – Baltic Triangle’s first coffee bar and the central watering hole for its diverse community. Keeping in line with the industrial theme, this is where the quant quirks of British Tea Rooms meet the practicality of a factory unit; jars of loose leaf teas, flavoursome coffee, food sourced from local suppliers, and they even promote local work through regular exhibitions. You are welcome to settle in amongst the networking, coffee breaks, regular events, and head-scratching discussions. You never know who you might end up sat next to.
12 Jordan Street Studio
What: Co-working, office and studio space
Where: 12 Jordan Street, L1 0BP
When: 24 hours 7 days a week
12 Jordan Street Studios offers a sleek space for companies and co-workers alike. They have taken the design of its industrial roots and combined it with the clean, simplistic aesthetics of the modern-day office space. They’ve kept the brickwork, concrete and trusses of its time and made it a comfortable and practical home for over 25 creative design, media and marketing companies; not a stuffy corner or cramped closed off desk in sight. You’ll find open roof spaces, large windows, and plenty of desk space in the studios and shared working areas, providing a light and airy atmosphere to tenants. Plus, it’s on-site coffee shop is Coffee & Fandisha…
Coffee & Fandisha
What: Coffee house
Where: 5 Brick Street, L1 0BL
When: Weekdays 8:30am – 5:00pm, Weekends 10:00am – 5:00pm
If a quieter spot off the beaten track is a bit more your scene, Coffee & Fandisha is the sanctuary you’ve been searching for. Head up Brick Street and you’ll be greeted by its bright, homely shopfront that brings colour to the greyest of days. Paul Curtis (the skilful street artist who also painted the wings on Jamaica Street) has decorated the coffee house with a vibrant coffee plant of greens, oranges and reds. Inspired by Ethiopian culture, they serve up popcorn with their coffee, homemade healthy grub with an essential side of cake, and is another spot that displays the work of local creatives on their Yellow Wall. The interior mixes the soothing hanging bulbs and bare brick of modern coffee culture with the homeliness of your Nan’s living room; a modest little space in which to let your wildest ideas take shape.
What: Studio, workshop and event space
Where: Cains Brewery Village, 5 Mann Street, L8 5AF
When: Weekdays 10am-6pm, Weekends 12-5pm
With the aim of bringing affordable, flexible studio space to the city, The Royal Standard worked in collaboration with Baltic Creative to bring us Northern Lights, one of the most unique and innovative spaces in Liverpool. As part of the old Cains Brewery, the 11,500 square foot warehouse was an immense, blank-canvas begging for a revamp. It is now home to several creative ventures and bursting with opportunities to experiment, collaborate and display your work to the public. Beneath the bold yellow trusses sits a labyrinth of studios separated by screens, although not at full height to maintain a sense of community, as well as galleries and performance spaces. Not only is Northern Lights equipped to meet the needs of a diverse range of talents, by providing such a flexible and multifaceted space to play with, it encourages creative minds to think bigger and go further.
What: Co-working and office space
Where: 3a Bridgewater Street, L1 0AR
When: Monday – Sunday 7am – 7pm
Prefer clean, chic surroundings and stylish home-comforts in your workspace? No problem. Hub Squared welcomes a vibrant community of the city’s creatives, right at the centre of the hustle and bustle, whilst looking like it was taken straight out of a glossy magazine. The overall design is modern and pleasingly symmetrical, with a calming colour code perfect for those who find their surroundings greatly impact their mindset. Follow the grass green carpet down corridors of office suites and communal spaces equipped with all the amenities you could possibly need. The glass partitions keep the space open and welcoming, with quiet corners to take a pew and admire the city from their tall windows. Make yourself at home, boost your creative juices with a quick stint at the onsite gym, and grab a free coffee to conquer the day.