GamesLab Leeds is a programme of funding and business support for talented, ambitious games studios in the Leeds City Region.
GamesLab Leeds started in 2016 and finished in 2019. Half of the project funding has come from the EU and the other half from the UK.
The programme has provided support to 60 video games studios and freelancers in the Leeds-York city region from Huddersfield to Leeds to Bradford to Harrogate to York. Roughly half of these studios were also given a grant from the project here at Creative England to help them develop new and exciting games, create new jobs and grow their businesses.
There are no further grants available now, but people in the video games industry are still very welcome to get in touch and come to our events to meet us and other like-minded creative games people.
A majority of the GamesLab Leeds funding has gone towards studios making new video games, but we also applied some of this funding to game technology or techniques (Unity, VR, AI, etc.) across all types of screen. Our niche area nationally has been screen tech – TV, film, and video games – and especially in the tech convergence between these sectors because we all now use the same underlying tech. Think of CGI or VFX in film and TV, and how together this area is selling worldwide and worth billions of pounds, dollars, yen and roubles. We also supported other creative organisations through Research and Development money, such as theatres or artists looking to collaborate with game studios.
Additionally, we offered support for businesses via mentoring, workshops and advice. Follow us on Twitter in order to be kept up to date on new developments. You can also read our blog post about the supported companies.
To access support through Gameslab Leeds you need to be a small or medium enterprise (“SME”).
You may know that SME not just includes being registered at Companies House, but also includes being a charity, a non-profit, a sole trader, freelancer and someone who works-for-hire.
For the purpose of the GamesLab programme, the Leeds city region is the whole of Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield, York, and North Yorkshire County Council. We can check your eligibility from your postcode.
Freelancers, sole traders, and people who work-for-hire should have a UTR (unique tax reference) ten-digit number from HMRC. We can use your UTR to provide you with free support.
If you’re not sure on whether you’d be eligible for support or not, please just get in touch and we can have a friendly talk.
The aim is that businesses supported through the programme:
• Increase the number of jobs in this creative sector.
• Collaborate better with research institutions such as universities.
• Introduce new products, both to sell in the market and to use in the company.
• Foster and celebrate sustainable growth in the region.
The project is delivered by Creative England, and funded by both the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and by the UK’s Regional Growth Funds (RGF).