Northampton College opens esports arena to future proof site

Image source, BBC/Sam Read
Image caption,
Northampton College said the esports arena was the first of its kind in the region

A college has unveiled a state-of-the-art digital academy, which includes a fully equipped esports arena.

Northampton College students can now study courses in esports, augmented and virtual reality, alongside the existing games design course.

Figures show video games account for more than half of the UK's entire entertainment market.

Pat Brennan-Barrett, principal of the college, said the facility "future proofs this college".

"One of the positive things that has comes out of the pandemic is that it's allowed us to accelerate our digital technologies," she said.

The academy, partly funded by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership, also has a TV studio, digital workshops, a video editing suite, a digital design studio, and other specialist facilities and equipment.

Image source, BBC/Sam Read
Image caption,
The digital academy also has a video editing suite

The college said the esports arena was the first of its kind in the East Midlands.

According to estimates, the video games industry is worth £150bn a year globally.

Stephen Ratcliffe-Jones, curriculum manager for media at Northampton College, said: "The amount of games design and production companies that are popping up in Cambridge and Milton Keynes, and our students are going to be the next generation of people doing those jobs."

Image source, BBC/Sam Read
Image caption,
Students will also be able to use a fully equipped TV studio

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