A privately-owned college in Manchester city centre is investing £1m to create one of the region’s biggest gaming schools.
The city’s burgeoning digital scene will be bolstered as Access to Music, which has 250 students, invests in the latest software, facilities and industry talent.
Access to Games will be based at the college’s Hulme Street HQ, which is currently an administrative centre. They also have a music faculty on Oxford Street.
The free course for students aged 16-23 will be headed up by Swedish seasoned game developer Mikael Hellberg.
The 24-year-old said: “Manchester’s games and tech sector competes on a global level.
“To keep it that way, and to cope with the predicted continued growth of the sector, we need to find and nurture home-grown talent. This helps with responding to the skills needs of the games community and develop a real eco-system.”
Access to Games offers specialised, industry-led pathways in Games Design starting in September 2017.
From September 2018 they will also offer progression routes into Games Art & Technology and Animation & VFX.
The course which lasts between one and two years will be available for up to 25 students who will gain a BTEC.
Hellberg continued: “Our students come from all backgrounds and academic achievements, as passion is key to succeed in any creative industry.
“Our team will teach and nurture the skills required by the industry. These include games art, character modelling and animation.
“They will also learn best practices about the business side of games production, including marketing, distribution and ultimately prepare them for the industry.”
Jason Beaumont, director of business development added: “Access to Games is part of Access to Music a national creative college now celebrating it’s 25th year in teaching and training young creatives.
“We have centre’s throughout the UK and are renowned for training some of the UK’s finest music talent, including Ed Sheeran – who is now a patron of the brand.
“We look forward to training the next generation of gaming talent and contributing to a rapidly growing creative sector.”