Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership has unveiled a new strategy that aims to grow the video games industry within the region.
A new report from the organisation, compiled in partnership with Ukie, says that around 130 UK games businesses are located in the area, many of which can be found around Leamington's ‘Silicon Spa'. These account for between 2,000-2,500 of the region's 3,000-3,500 full time employees
The games industry in the West Midlands generated an estimated 224 million in GVA in 2015.
Recommendations include further local authority and UK government investment in specialist games sector support, the promotion of the Silicon Spa's heritage and culture and a focus on skills training in local schools, colleges and universities. It would also like to see some improvement to Coventry and Warwickshire's digital communications infrastructure.
Not enough people know that we have a world class games cluster in the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP area, and the wider West Midlands, and this an industry and success story we should shout about more,” CWLEP board member and CEO and co-founder of the Emerald Group Sarah Windrum said.
The games sector crucially requires the skills needed by wider digital creative businesses and support for these skills is therefore essential. Promoting and growing the local games sector will create more jobs and also increase the highly skilled workforce that will benefit the wider local economy.
We are pleased to have partnered with Ukie to produce this report and we look forward to working together further, along with the CWLEP's partners, to help ensure the games sector can grow to its full potential.”
Ukie CEO Jo Twist added: The games and interactive entertainment sector presents real opportunities for economic growth around the country and we want this report to be used as a blueprint for other emerging clusters across the UK to consider.
The report directly responds to the government's recent Industrial Strategy – in particular, directly addressing the call to consider the best structures to support people, industries and places to maximise local strengths.
We look forward to working with the LEP, Local Authorities, Combined Authorities and the government in Westminster to get more support for games businesses in the West Midlands and wider UK.”