LEP game on growth for Silicon Spa

One of the West Midlands’ biggest growth sectors is to receive more support in order to sustain its ascendancy.

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 region.

The new programme will build on the success of the gaming and creative cluster in and around Leamington Spa, often referred to as ‘Silicon Spa’.

It delivers on many of the recommendations made in the ‘The Games Industry in Coventry and Warwickshire – a Blueprint for Growth’ report launched by the CWLEP, in partnership with Ukie, earlier this year.

The programme includes:

• A games sector specialist role, based in the area, to work with local businesses and deliver the work
• A programme of events, training and resources helping businesses to grow their businesses and get investor ready
• Bringing investors and local game businesses together
• 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

CWLEP is committed to delivering the programme, while 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 country.

The programme also includes a separate digital skills strand for the wider digital creative sector.

Sarah Windrum, CWLEP board director and chair of West Midlands Digital Group, said: “I want to thank Ukie for all their support highlighting the significant economic value of our digital creative sector to the region.

“Coventry and Warwickshire is perfectly placed to lead this programme which will drive growth for our gaming cluster and our wider digital manufacturing sector across the West Midlands.”

Dr Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie, said: “The games businesses in and around Leamington Spa make huge contributions to the economy and cultural output of the UK. Rolling out this new programme in Coventry and Warwickshire will deliver support to local games businesses, creating new programmes that will help them attract further investment, drive further growth across the West Midlands and benefit the wider UK games industry.”