Ukie and Coventry and Warwickshire LEP have announced a two-year funded programme to grow the games industry in the West Midlands, building on the success of the cluster in the Leamington Spa area.
Funded by the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP with support from local authorities, West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), and the Midlands Engine, the programme will deliver many of the recommendations made in the recent 'The Games Industry in Coventry and Warwickshire - a Blueprint for Growth' report.
This includes the appointment of a dedicated staff member to oversee a programme of games industry-specific investor ready training courses, providing opportunities to bring together investors and local businesses, as well as inbound and outbound trade missions.
Ukie will support the programme by heading up a local steering group to ensure that it remains an industry-led project to best serve the sector, and will assist in linking the activity into the trade body‚Äôs wider national strategy by building a network that can deliver support to games businesses around the country.
Supporters of Ukie's creative computing initiative, Digital Schoolhouse, powered by PlayStation, have also called for more industry support for the programme via a new Red Tier‚ industry sponsorship package, which will allow more games companies to support the initiative.
SEGA and Warwickshire County Council (WCC) have announced their support for the programme. SEGA and WCC joined PlayStation‚Äôs call for a wider variety of games businesses to back the Red Tier sponsorship, which enables companies to support the Digital Schoolhouse project without the commitment of partnering with a school. The lower financial implications of this tier will allow smaller games businesses to innovate with the creative computing initiative with resources and knowledge, with a smaller financial contribution.
EGX also saw the announcement of a renewed partnership between Ukie and the VSC Rating Board, with the relaunch of the AskAboutGames site, an online resource which contains a comprehensive range of advice about PEGI ratings, parental controls, family friendly games advice, and online safety.
Ukie has also announced changes to its board.
Dr Jo Twist, OBE, CEO of Ukie, said,
‚ÄúThe variety of the announcements from today‚Äôs AGM show the breadth of work that the Ukie team have undertaken this busy year. This has been a big year for us and for the industry, and we‚Äôre proud to be launching the a new LEP-backed local support programme, as well as our nationwide expansion of the Digital Schoolhouse project today. I look forward to another busy year with the team and board.‚Äù