Baltic Creative CIC has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Liverpool John Moores University with an aim to better connect students with digital and creative businesses.

This new partnership will connect Baltic Creative tenants with students, to help develop their skills and create new employment opportunities. The diverse mix of businesses here will hopefully inspire students to pave their own way as creative business leaders. The tenants will also be able to benefit from LJMU’s emerging talent pool when recruiting.


The MoU will enable both parties to collaborate on research projects valuable to academia, business leaders and the C&D sector. Baltic Creative will work with the university’s Centre for Entrepreneurship on mutually beneficial initiatives, as well as exchanging research materials.

The partnership between the two organisations follows many years of collaboration. LJMU made Mark Lawler, MD of Baltic Creative, an honorary fellow in 2019; and, the company’s chair of the board Dr Fiona Armstrong-Gibbs, is a programme leader for the university’s MBA in scale-up. 

Dr Fiona Armstrong-Gibbs, Mark Lawler and Mark Power in March 2022. (Credit: LJMU)

On a recent visit to Baltic Creative, Mark and Fiona met with the Vice-Chancellor of LJMU, Mark Power. The visit was an opportunity for both organisations to speak about their hopes for the partnership.

Mark Lawler said:

Speaking to our tenants, we discovered 40% of businesses here already have a relationship with LJMU; and more are willing to offer internships. We wanted to build on these connections so we could address the barriers to growing the local and regional C&D talent pool; and, create opportunities for students, businesses and artists.


The MoU’s third objective centres on property and place. Baltic Creative and LJMU will work collaboratively to ensure regional assets, such as Littlewoods Film Studios, meet the needs of students and businesses.

The visit in March included a demonstration from Baltic Creative tenants, MGISS and a stop by LJMU’s shed at the Creative Campus. Ian Mitchell, Senior Lecturer of Graphic Design and Illustration at LJMU, is running the space which is shared with graduates of his course.

Speaking about ‘Place,’ Mark Lawler said:

LJMU has recently occupied space here and will work with a number of graduates to connect them directly with the Creative & Digital community. ‘Place’ matters and putting businesses and students in the same place can only help the students and the businesses alike. Baltic Creative will also support LJMU’s Screen School at the Littlewood’s site, to ensure businesses have a role to play in the students’ education, graduation and new business journey.

Commenting on the partnership, Mark Power, Vice-Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University, said:

We are proud that 1,000 people each year graduate with degrees in art, design, digital technologies, journalism, broadcasting, marketing, fashion and more. Even more so, we are delighted to say that a good many of them stay and work in the city region. This exciting relationship with the creative industries is there for them to enjoy and we hope it will ensure they acquire the skills and experience they need to be successful in their careers on Merseyside and further afield.

The MoU will be in place for at least the next three years.