With the first stage of the Northern Lights project to launch mid-late October
The Cains Brewery has long been an iconic part of Liverpool’s cityscape. Founded in 1858 by Irishman Robert Cain, the site boasts a rich history of brewing and beer production and has operated under many guises over the decades. The Grade II listed building, now owned by the Dunsanji brothers, ceased brewing in 2013 and has mainly been used as a storage facility since.
Today, it’s a very different story. In June this year, the Baltic Creative Community Interest project signed a 10 year lease after successfully securing £310k loan funding from Liverpool City Region Impact Fund to refurbish the building. The new project, labeled ‘The Northern Lights’, marks phase five of the Baltic Creative’s long term regeneration scheme and will transform 40,000 sq ft of disused warehouse at the Cains Brewery into a multifunctional, artist-led space.
The idea for the scheme was influenced by The Factory of Art and Design in Copenhagen – a multi-purpose space where designers and artists work and collaborate in a shared hall, which is also available to rent for film shoots, set designs and large scale production events.
The new creative hub at the Cains Brewery will consist of a range of innovative spaces, including artist studios, workshops, rehearsal rooms, individual mezzanine workrooms, a co-working area, an events hall, a gallery and a central café, to name but a few.
In-keeping with the Baltic Triangle area – an internationally renowned hotspot for digital, creative and innovative independent businesses – the new development aims to offer bespoke and affordable spaces for artists, designers, makers and performers to expand and grow.
Chris Green, Operations Manager at the Baltic Creative CIC, said:
‘Baltic Creative CIC have been searching for a new building in which to house artists, makers and musicians for nearly two years now.
‘We are thrilled to have secured the Northern Lights warehouse at Cains Brewery where we believe these types of creative industries will have the space, freedom and flexibility to develop their chosen practice or business.’
Since the development was announced in July, it has attracted interest from a range of businesses and charities and has already secured two anchor tenants. Creative design and print company Gocre8 have moved into the large end workshop unit and have been operational since September 26th. The Royal Standard, a registered charity and Liverpool’s largest artist-led gallery, studio and social workspace, will also be taking up residency in the space on October 10th.
Emma Curd, an artist and director at The Royal Standard, said:
‘The Baltic Triangle is an area that is well known for attracting artistic and creative people and we’re looking forward to being a part of that community.
‘Our aim is to provide affordable studios and communal spaces for artists while also giving The Royal Standard more visibility. It was important for us to keep our autonomy and here we will have the flexibility to create a space that can adapt to our growing needs.’
There’s no denying that it is an exciting time for the Baltic Triangle. The Northern Lights project is a significant move towards the area’s collective vision to support and grow independent organisations and will undoubtedly play a major part in shaping Liverpool’s history.