Updated 22nd February,2013
Things are going well down in the Baltic area of Liverpool, around Jamaica Street. It’s taken a while.
Once an area of worn down warehouses and workshops it’s been enthusiastically talked up as the coming creative hub of the city for some years now. A relatively low rent area with non-listed, non-precious buildings where creative industries and artists would be free to experiment and create the future of their own enterprises and, indeed, the future of the city.
Well, it’s happening. Some critical mass point has been reached and today we felt like we were walking around in someone’s vision.
We were so delighted to see it taking off it made us hungry. So we went for our lunch to a place we’d never noticed before, opened four months ago apparently.
The room on the left was obviously some kind of meeting room and I was joking with Sarah about David Parrish being in there ‘running one of his creative enterprise days’ when out he came, doing exactly that!
These are let out by Baltic Creative as low rent studios. And showing us and others around, the inhabitant of one of the studios, our friend and Liverpool artist and poet, Clare Campbell.
And no one paid me to say that, by the way. We were very impressed.
Not all of the buildings in the Triangle lend themselves to such dramatic and, I’m guessing, relatively cheap transformation. But who knows what might be possible as the area gathers pace and possibilities now.
While we were down there though, we went to have a look at a rumour I’d picked up. That the lovely mural on the Picket, painted by real Belfast mural artists, had gone.
We asked around. People said there are still bands on in the evenings. And we saw a girl and her mother going in for a dance class. So we hope there’s still a future for the Picket. Especially now the whole area’s taking off.
Jayne Casey, who is a Picket Board member, has now explained that the mural has been painted over as new fire doors are soon to be fitted and the mural was, in any case, only intended to be temporary.
“As part of its development The Picket will be used in the daytime as a base for city music promoters.
Jayne said the changes would secure the future of The Picket’s youth slots, held on a Friday and Saturday for young people.
She said: “We have 2,000 young people through the doors every month and that is what The Picket is all about.”