During its AGM on Thursday, games trade body Ukie announced it has joined forces with Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP)to create a new two-year programme aiming to grow the industry in the West Midlands, specifically around the Leamington Spa area, already home of successful studios such as Playground Games, Codemasters and Ubisoft Leamington.
Based on'The Games Industry in Coventry and Warwickshire - a Blueprint for Growth' report, it will see the hire of a dedicated staff member to oversee a programme of games industry-specific investor ready training courses,” the announcement said. This new programme will aim at achieving partnerships between investors and local companies, as well as new trade missions.
Ukie will also oversee a local steering group to make sure it remains an industry-led project to best serve the sector.”
CWLEP board director and chair of west Midlands digital group Sarah Windrum commented: "On behalf of Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership I want to thank Ukie for all their support highlighting the significant economic value of our digital creative sector to the region. Coventry & Warwickshire are perfectly placed to lead this programme which will drive growth for our gaming cluster and our wider digital manufacturing sector across the West Midlands."
During the AGM, Ukie also called for more industry support for its Digital Schoolhouse, which encourages kids to engage with the new Computing curriculum and is already backed by PlayStation, SEGA and Warwickshire County Council. It introduced a new ‘Red Tier' industry sponsorship package in order to garner more support.
John Clark, EVP of commercial publishing for Sega Europe said: SEGA Europe has a history in working with educational organisations in order to help bridge the skills gap in the UK with regards to the video games industry. The partnership with the Digital Schoolhouse Programme is particularly exciting as it aims to engage the next generation of school children, and their teachers, with the new computing curriculum.”