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SGS College proposes new creative technology education faculty for South West

A new world class creative technology education faculty and esports arena is being proposed for the West of England Institute for Specialist Education (WISE) Further Education College site, Bristol.

NLA Europe Limited (NLAE) has been invited by South Gloucestershire & Stroud College (SGS) to bring forward proposals for a new creative technology and esports education centre of excellence for Bristol and the South West.

NLAE will be submitting detailed proposals for the enhancement of the existing WISE campus, which could include a new education faculty of creative technology and esports education and student accommodation. The new faculty will work closely with the existing on-site Bristol Institute of Performing Arts, Bristol Academy of Media Bristol School of Art and the other SGS campuses.

The new faculty would include a 1,400-1,500 seat world class esports arena, with a global digital streaming capability. This technology will be designed and delivered by NLAE's partnership with global technology provider, Amazon Web Services (AWS).

AWS will also be designing and participating in the delivery of the cloud-based education content to be provided by the new faculty. The technology provided by AWS will allow SGS to deliver programmes remotely to classes at its other campus locations.

The Bristol project would be the next major education technology/ esports project in NLAE's expanding UK portfolio, and has a target opening date of September 2023.

The WISE campus is already set to open a new £7m specialist technology and science building funded by the West of England Combined Authority in March 2021. This was the catalyst for NLAE's interest in the site and will provide much needed additional capacity in the area, as the demand rises for digital technology.

UKIE, the industry body for games and interactive entertainment in the UK, recently reported that esports currently contributes £111m to the British economy. The new development in Bristol represents a significant growth opportunity for local and regional employment and economic growth in the digital industries of the future.

Keith Hamblin, CEO of the SGS Group, said: "This announcement is the next step towards a development that would put creative technology and esports at the heart of the region. We have always prided ourselves on giving students education and training that meets the demands of the changing jobs market and as such, this investment with two leading organisations would put us at the forefront of one of the world's fastest growing industries. This private sector investment in the skills education of the West of England is a testament to the faith in the future of the creative sector in the South West as we emerge from the pandemic."

Chris Turner, CEO of NLAE, said: "By working with SGS to deliver world class, future proof digital education and esports training and events facilities, the proposed WISE faculty development will put Bristol and the South West firmly on the global esports map. It is a privilege for me to be leading a project that will deliver economic and employment opportunities for socially disadvantaged school leavers and a major reskilling opportunity for Bristol's existing workforce in the digital industries of the future."

Image credits: Glenn Howell Architects

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