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£2.3m programme funds new Games Innovation Zone in the UK

The new space opened in Guildford to boost the industry in Surrey

The University of Surrey in the UK has just opened a Games Innovation Zone in Guildford, as part of a £2.3 million programme aimed at boosting the industry in the region.

The new Games Innovation Zone is split across a collaboration space and an area dedicated to testing and playing, and aims at gathering academics, local developers, and esports pros, among others.

The zone was funded via a programme called Games And Innovation Nexus (GAIN), which was launched in February as part of the Guildford Games festival. The initiative committed to £2.3 million in funding to further develop the games industry outside of London.

The funding was pledged towards three goals in particular, to bolster the industry in Surrey: connect university researchers and game firms that have "challenges to solve," further link the local industries in Guildford and Leamington, and invest in a new ecosystem, the new Games Innovation Zone being part of it.

The expansion of the incubation centre in the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham is also planned.

The GAIN programme was funded by Research England, Surrey County Council, the University of Surrey, UCA Farnham, Warwick University, and Warwickshire County Council.

Caroline Fleming, director of the Surrey Innovation District commented: "It's so exciting to see the Games Innovation Zone come to life. As well as being the hub for academic collaboration, creativity and gameplay, [yesterday's] opening is a leap forward towards the next generation of gaming. The innovative solutions generated inside the new Zone will help to tackle the industry's biggest challenges, showcasing to the world Guildford's credentials as the UK's 'Hollywood for video games'."

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Marie Dealessandri avatar
Marie Dealessandri: Marie joined in 2019 to head its Academy section. A journalist since 2012, she started in games in 2016. She can be found (rarely) tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate and the Dead Cells soundtrack. GI resident Moomins expert.
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