The British Games Institute (BGI), a new national agency dedicated to video games, has revealed it will open its new headquarters in Sheffield.
BGI said it chose Sheffield for its “vibrant” creative tech sector, a “fantastic” track record in games led by Sumo Digital and “one of the best universities in Sheffield Hallam”.
The new HQ will be based at the Sheffield Kollider, a new hub for creative and technology industries currently being developed in the former Co-op Castle House in Castlegate.
“Our move to Sheffield is a big statement for BGI,” said CEO Rick Gibson.
He added: “The Kollider building is a unique opportunity for BGI to be at the heart of a growing creative cluster in the North with outstanding support from the city, wider region and DCMS.”
BGI will also move the National Videogame Arcade from its current home to the new premises, but will maintain an educational and research facility in Nottingham, where it will also run the GameCity festival later this year.
The NVA, which is the country’s only playable museum that welcomes over 50,000 visitors per annum, will close to the public in Nottingham in mid-September, before opening again in Sheffield in late October 2018.
Iain Simons, culture director of BGI, said: “The NVA was proudly born in Nottingham, so it’s bittersweet to be leaving.
“Whilst we’re opening a new chapter in Sheffield, through the continuing work with Pixelheads and our other education programmes, the GameCity festival and our forthcoming research facility, Nottingham will remain an important centre for BGI activity.”
The Kollider is being renovated with DCMS funding as part of a wider push by Sheffield to create a new cluster for high growth industries in Castlegate and the wider City.
The BGI is one of the first arrivals from a range of creative, technology and biotech businesses expected to move to the building over the next 12 months.
Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment at Sheffield City Council, said: “We are delighted to be able to announce this major development in our new digital and tech space in Castlegate, right in the heart of the city.
“Castlegate is on track to become a thriving digital industry quarter that is creating new opportunities and cementing Sheffield’s status as the fastest growing digital sector in the country, supporting more than 22,000 jobs and growing the economy by millions.”