New government funding gives Midlands esports businesses a boost
News - 13 Mar 2017
British esports and games companies based in the Midlands could benefit from new Government funding.
The £250 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund launches this spring in a bid to 'finance the expansion plans of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) across the region'.
The Government hopes its Midlands Trade and Investment Programme will help position the Midlands Engine 'on the global stage'.
This means that businesses in the Midlands, which stretches from Shropshire to Lincolnshire, will be able to apply for funding from this spring.
Technological businesses are important to the Government. As outlined in the full Midlands Engine document here, proposals are being developed to establish 5G testbeds in the region 'to place the Midlands at the vanguard of the next wave of digital technology'.
The Government has already announced that £170 million of capital funding will help create a network of Institutes of Technology to ensure the right education is given to meet the needs of employers in local areas, including the Midlands.
It also said it wants to take Midlands interactive games and entertainment companies to Gamescom 2017.
Approximately 139,000 people are employed in the digital technology economy in the Midlands.
Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: "The launch of the Midlands Engine Strategy is a demonstration of the government’s commitment to making the Midlands a powerful engine for economic growth.
"The Midlands is essential to our national economic success. The region is responsible for over a fifth of the UK’s total manufacturing capability.
"The services sector in the Midlands accounts for over four million jobs and is worth around £158 billion a year.
"We are announcing our plans to invest £392 million across the Midlands through the Local Growth Fund. We will invest £20 million in a Midlands Skills Challenge to help close the skills gap between the Midlands and the rest of the country. We will launch the £250 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund this spring to finance the expansion plans of SMEs across the region.
"we will publish a Midlands Engine Investment Portfolio later this month, to showcase the potential opportunities for investors.
"Working together, we can achieve our ambitious vision for a Midlands economy that works for everyone."