The global esports market is estimated to be worth over $1 billion and growing.  The UK is the fifth biggest consumer market for games, so there is a wealth of opportunity in the sector.

North East England is a growing force in the esport market, boasting fantastic esport courses, meet-ups and esport companies such as Newcastle-based Viperio and Hitmarker, the largest gaming and esports jobs platform in the world.

The North East was chosen as the location for the British Esports Federation campus in the UK.

The British Esports Federation is a non for profit organisation and is the recognised representative for Great Britain and Northern Ireland within the Global Esports Federation, and serves as a founding member of the IOC Esports and Gaming Liaison Group.

From developing nationwide grassroots esports tournaments for schools and colleges to building the world’s first vocational qualifications in esports, British Esports are one of the world’s leading esports authorities, shaping the future of competitive gaming.

They manage the representation and participation of national teams in the Global Esports Games, Commonwealth Esports Championships and other Olympic sanctioned medal based events. Names include Alienware, intel and Dell technologies.

Technology clusters and top talent

Our skilled digital workforce of over 32,720 talented people, outstanding business support clusters and networks, state-of-the-art facilities, cutting-edge innovators and superb digital infrastructure are all reasons why gaming and esports organisations are looking to North East England.  

Our tech clusters and networks provide an unrivalled eco-system to support start-up and growing companies moving to the area through events, mentoring, funding and collective problem-solving. Our games development 

Trailblazing esports

The region aims to be a trailblazer in the esports arena with national body, British Esports Federation having opened a performance and education campus in Sunderland last summer.

The National Esports Performance Campus is a 45,000 sq.ft multi-site venue and the definitive home to British Esports, based in Sunderland.

Featuring modern, state of the art offices and contemporary classrooms, specialised esports performance rooms, luxurious on site accommodation and dedicated 5G esports arena with retractable seating for 250 spectators, the National Esports Performance Campus is a globally recognised esports hub capable of attracting and developing the world’s very best esports and creative talent.

The campus will be a centre of excellence, providing access to state-of-the-art equipment, training and investment that will support Sunderland, the North East and the UK to become a globally-recognised esports hub capable of attracting and developing the world’s best esports talent.

It offers educational and coaching courses for players and all other roles within the industry, and feature dedicated esports classrooms, performance rooms, streaming booths for shoutcaster skills and a 200 person arena space.

It will also host regular esports events, community tournaments, summer camps and be used as a training base for the Great Britain esports team.

The campus and specialist esports courses provided by local colleges and universities, further solidify the region as a national esports hub.

In addition, the North East’s next generation of digital experts are enjoying new opportunities at the cutting edge of eSTEM learning with Newcastle United Foundation in its new esports arena.

The £8million state-of-the-art esports arena has recently opened in Newcastle and is part of the Newcastle United Foundation’s NUCASTLE community hub and will support Newcastle College’s new esports study programme. It is hoped the course and access to the facility will give the next generation insight into the industry and the tools to have a successful career.

There is a growing number of meet ups for non-competitive game play across the region through the college and university esports teams.  This includes:

The region’s five universities and excellent higher education colleges provide a strong pipeline of talent for the esport sector. We have 67,000 students who are studying Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics subjects in our universities, and our region’s education institutions and local delivery partners offer specialist courses in emerging technology, esports, and immersive tech.

These include:

  • Durham University – their esports hub will open in Spring 2024. The hub will be used to facilitate not only Durham students, but external students and members of the public with an extensive outreach plan. Esports at Durham is officially recognised part of the Wider Student Experience and also a university-wide supported service. The university’s second North East Esports Festival takes place in March 2024 with a focus on industry and will explore the various roles that esports has to offer, and how to obtain one.
  • Sunderland College who is leading the way in digital innovation and has recently invested over £12,000 establishing a new esports studio. The college is working with Aim Awards, ESL, the British E-sports Association and UKIE to deliver the UK’s first college esports qualification. The college currently offers a Level 3 esports Extended Diploma and launched its first Level 2 and Level 3 esports courses last September – one of only 13 colleges across the country to deliver Next Gen Skills Academy qualifications.
  • Alongside the Newcastle United Foundation, Newcastle College has launched an interactive esports programme of one and two year BTEC Level 2 and 3 diplomas for students.
  • Gateshead College offers a Level 3 qualification covering the fundamentals of games, esports and live streaming.


With exceptional digital connectivity and fantastic air, rail, sea and road networks, North East England is the perfect location to reach European and international markets. The region has a huge range of office and studio space available at business parks and in city centres, as well as opportunities for bespoke workspace solutions.

Esport organisations choosing to locate in North East England will benefit from a wide range of business support and cluster networks primed to offer guidance and advice across a range of topics. 

To support a smooth transition to the region, Invest North East England can provide a range of services, including property searches, data on skills and guidance on incentives, as well as making introductions to specialist networks that can offer guidance and links to potential customers, opportunities and research and development support.

Speak to our Esports Specialist

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Rachel Burdis
Inward Investment Manager
T: 07342 069 367

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The global esports market is estimated to be worth over $1 billion and growing. The UK is the fifth biggest consumer market for games, so there is a wealth of opportunity in the sector. North East England is a growing force in the esport market, boasting fantastic esport courses, meet-ups and esport companies such as […] Read More

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