We always aim to deliver research that can make a difference, and to make recommendations that can be put into action. So we are delighted to see that the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and Ukie, the trade body for games and interactive entertainment, have announced a two-year programme to grow the games industry and wider digital creative sector in the West Midlands that delivers on many of the recommendations made in our report, ’The Games Industry in Coventry and Warwickshire - a Blueprint for Growth’, launched earlier in 2017.
The new programme will build on the success of the video games cluster in and around Leamington Spa, often referred to as ‘Silicon Spa’. We identified the cluster as a driver of ‘smart specialisation’ for the West Midlands region, with a combination of creativity, technology, global reputation and agility that raises its productivity and competitiveness to levels above those of UK and international peers.
The programme includes:
- A games sector specialist role, based in the area, to work with local businesses and deliver the programme
- A programme of events, training and resources helping games entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and get investor ready
- Bringing together specialist investors and local game businesses
- Promoting the heritage and culture of ‘Silicon Spa’ as a source of regional competitive advantage
- Inbound and outbound overseas trade missions and visits
- Underpinning the supply of talent through a range of industry-led approaches to skills in schools, colleges and universities
- A programme of digital skills for the wider digital creative sector.
Ukie’s role will be to ensure that the programme is industry-led, via a local steering group, and to link the programme into a wider national strategy, building a network that can deliver support to games businesses around the UK.
The full report can be downloaded here.