Thousands of jobs are expected to be created in a new property investment scheme for creative groups in Liverpool (above)
More than 60 arts groups will be given office and studio spaces in Liverpool in a £5.2 million scheme by local funding bodies aiming to create thousands of jobs in the area.
The North-West Regional Development Agency and the North-West European Regional Development Fund will turn properties bought in the city into a dedicated business hub for the rising Creative Quarter in the Baltic Creative Project.
David Clark, Chair of Baltic Creative, called the plans "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to build a creative and digital business centre.
"This development is a valuable step towards supporting growth in the creative and digital industries and stimulating an already thriving sector," he explained.
"Baltic Creative is looking forward to working with other creative stakeholders in the area to promote economic growth in the sector."
The centre will form part of the European-funded £521 million North-West Operational Programme, which is expected to create 26,700 extra jobs in Liverpool by 2015, raising £1 million a year for the city economy.
"The creative and digital industries sector is strong in both Liverpool and the region, which is why it has been identified as a key growth sector," said NWRDA Chief Executive Steven Broomhead.
"Liverpool's Baltic Triangle area presents a unique opportunity to develop a natural network of creative businesses in one location, building on the strong creative activity already underway in the area."
Jenny Douglas, Head of City Centre at regeneration planners Liverpool Vision, said it was crucial to "sustain the energy" of the area.
"It's vital that creatives are in the heart of the city and not left on the edge," she argued. "These plans for the Baltic Triangle will help support and increase the vibrancy by attracting new companies, new ideas and new connections."
A new board of directors and an office manager are now being recruited for the project, with details on space allocation announced "in the coming weeks."