Leamington Spa identified as UK hub for gaming industry

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Leamington Spa has been identified as an unlikely hub for the gaming industry.

Known colloquially as ‘Silicon Spa’ the town has become one of the largest gaming hubs within the UK games ecosystem, employing over 2,000 highly skilled people – over 10 per cent of the UK total in games development.

Recent reports Game Changers and Tech Cities by commercial real estate advisors CBRE say small locations beyond London and the larger regional cities are punching above their weight as gaming locations.

CBRE’s findings echo those of UKie, the voice of the interactive entertainment sector, which has identified towns where the games industry generates over £60 million in GVA – other notable locations include Guildford, Slough, and Heathrow.

CBRE expects the sector could require an additional 1 million sq ft of workspace in the UK over the next five years.

“Demand for fit-for-purpose space in central Leamington is strong, with successful gaming studios prime for acquisition,” said Mike Gedye, Head of Tech, Media and Telecoms at CBRE.

“Most recently we have seen a well-known social media technology company acquire a local company and 40,000 sq ft of office space to enable operational expansion.

“We have seen other companies queuing for the right space. For example, Sumo Digital occupied temporary flex space in Leamington Spa over two years ago, to enable them to move quickly when the right opportunity came to market.

“They have since secured 45,000 sq ft at Bedford Street Studios in the town centre This office was speculatively developed from the repurposed House of Fraser store on The Parade.”

CBRE is urging commercial property owners with underperforming assets in their portfolio to consider transforming the buildings into winning propositions in gaming hotspots.