£5m 'games academy' to be built in Liverpool

£5m 'games academy' to be built in Liverpool
Michael French

By Michael French

July 9th 2009 at 3:02PM

Councilors claim city is 'leading catalyst' for development in UK and plans to grow it further

Plans are afoot to spent £5m on building a 'computer games academy' in Liverpool, UK.

According to a report in The Liverpool Daily Post, a National Games Academy in the city would be built to help it become 'breeding ground for the finest computer minds in the country'.

Students at the academy would be trained in art, coding and technology - and even offer testing facilities, work palcement learning and links to the Media City in Salford. They would also get IP and business advice, plus mentoring.

Liverpool is already home to SCEE Liverpool and its Evolution sister studio, plus Bizarre Creations and a number of smaller studios - local authorities boast the region is the 'most significant' games cluster in the UK, employing 1,500 people (of course, we're sure the developers in Brighton, Dundee, the North East, the Midlands, et al. would all beg to differ...).

According to the Post, City's enterprise leader Cllr Gary Millar and his Liberal Democrat party colleague, Cllr Laurence Sidorczuk, are 'behind the plans to capitalise on the region's gaming industry'.

Millar said: “It’s early days. The city region is the UK’s leading games developer catalyst and we need to capitalise on that.

“We need to work with the public and private sector to help create the game developers of the future.

“The Games Academy has every chance of catching the imagination of the next generation of gamers and workers, and inspiring people to up-skill and get involved.

“It would also provide the employers with a hub for well- trained potential new employees with which they can grow their businesses.

“I don’t think we would get much change from £5m to get this up and running. We would also need to make sure it is sustainable.

“What form it will take at the moment, I don’t know. We still need to beef up the plans.”

Sidorczuk added: “We are calling on the Government to indicate their support for this industry in the North West by investing in it with money."

Steve Smith, industry director ICT for Liverpool Vision -the body that promotes the industry in Liverpool - backed the proposal: “The Liverpool city region is the most significant games cluster in the UK, both in numbers of people employed and revenue.

“It is incredibly important to the economy, and anything that reinforces that would be a good thing. We have to work hard to make sure we keep what we have got and a future upon which they can build.”