Creative England is proud to announce Gameslab Leeds, the latest regional installment of its successful Gameslab programmes. 

Gameslab Leeds is a three year programme which supports studios and digital companies in the Leeds City Region. With £300,000 worth of grants available up to 2019, alongside investment opportunities, the programme will also offer non-financial support in the form of masterclasses, mentoring, workshops and networking events. From understanding and converting opportunities in emerging tech sectors, to development planning and access to finance, investors, publishers and distributors, Gameslab Leeds offers an invaluable opportunity for the brightest gaming talent that Leeds has to offer. 

Apply Here

The focus is on studios or digital companies that are developing something new and innovative – this could be a new IP, new technology, developing a new games engine, or new ways of players interacting with gaming. Investments will be awarded to help businesses to scale up and increase the number of staff they employ; collaborate with research institutions and/or introduce new products to the market. 

Gameslab Leeds is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and supported by the Regional Growth Fund.

The programme

GamesLab Leeds is a programme of funding and business support for talented, ambitious games studios in the Leeds City Region. Through this programme companies creating games or games-related products can access investment and mentoring to help their business grow.

Are you eligible for support through the programme?

To access support you must be:

  • An SME registered at Companies House
  • Registered and trading in the Leeds City Region *
  • Committed to developing your business and expanding your team

The programme is most beneficial for:

  • SME games companies with high growth potential
  • Start-up companies under 12 months old that have spun out of Universities and other Academic and/or Research Institutes
  • Work-for-hire companies that provide development services within the games industry on a contract basis, but do not develop their own IP
  • Digital product/service providers who are keen to move into the game space
  • Established game developers unable to commit resources to gaming
  • R&D and innovation due to pressure from commercial deadlines.

The support provided by GamesLab would provide the stimulus for such companies to further in-house research and collaborate with start-up SMEs in the region.

We're particularly keen to hear from companies focusing on Research, Development and Innovation in emerging technologies (AR, VR, wearable tech)

What support is on offer through the GamesLab programme?

Grant funding

Investments will be awarded between of £5,000 - £30,000.

The lower level investments will be awarded to support the development of beta prototyping and principle R&D. This strand of funding will be aimed at start-ups and work-for-hire companies.

A second strand of funding will be awarded in the region of £10k-£30k for the development of more sophisticated prototypes, leading to new IP generation, with a preference for emerging technologies

Gameslab will appoint a small panel of business / games industry experts to mentor the funded companies on a one-to-one basis

Non-financial support

Of course not all problems need to be solved with money, often it's advice and guidance that would be most beneficial. So businesses not receiving funding can still access the support of the GamesLab programme through a series of group masterclasses

These masterclasses may cover (although will not be limited to) the following topics:

  • Pivoting your business from a service-based to a product-based model
  • Identifying and exploiting your assets and IP
  • Understanding and converting opportunities in emerging tech sectors
  • Development planning
  • Marketing, building consumer interest and generating sales
  • Access to finance, investors, publishers and distributors

What will the programme achieve?

The aim is that businesses supported through the

  • Increase the number of staff they employ
  • Collaborate / cooperate with research institutions
  • Introduce new products to the market and /or Introduce new products to the company

Who will deliver it?

The project will be delivered by Creative England, funded by European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) and supported by Regional Growth Funds (RGF).

How do I get involved?

Apply here 

Masterclasses will be announced via our e-newsletters and social media accounts so please sign up and follow us

Twitter: @Games_CE

Facebook: wearecreativeengland

Instagram: creativeengland

*For the purpose of the GamesLab programme Leeds City Region is defined as Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate. Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield, York and North Yorkshire County Council