Jobs boost for Birmingham

BAFTA award-winning games developer and publisher Codemasters is to create more than 100 new jobs across the Midlands  – with an additional 25 joining the company’s 120-strong team in Birmingham.

Codemasters Birmingham Team Photo

Codemasters Birmingham Team Photo

The move will bring an influx of talented developers to the area and underlines confidence in the region’s growing games industry. The announcement comes as Birmingham Science Park Aston’s LAUNCH event brings key gaming media figures to the city to host a Meet the Games Press event for local digital companies (4th April).

Building on the success of its recent games – which includes the best selling series of official FORMULA ONE™ games – Codemasters is building on its long-established presence at its HQ in Warwickshire and bolstering the team based at its games development studio at Tricorn House in Birmingham city centre.

Simon Miles, Talent Acquisition Manager, Codemasters said:  “The success of our recent games and our plans for the future means that Codemasters will continue to see growth as we expand our teams here in the Midlands. The skilled talent pool in Birmingham, along with the support available for developers in the area, and across the Midlands generally has created a dynamic and creative local business community. We are looking to recruit staff from the region as well as enticing some new employees into the city as well.”

The Birmingham city region is home to more than 12,500 digital and technology firms – from innovative SMEs to global brands – and employs nearly a quarter of the UK games workforce. It has positioned itself as a hotbed for future gaming talent, with unrivalled education provision. The £25 million Birmingham Ormiston Academy, which opened in October, is the first specialist digital media academy of its kind in the UK while Gamer Camp, a finishing school for game developers that partners with industry experts, was set up by Birmingham City University.

Further business support in the region includes Birmingham’s city centre Enterprise Zone, which is introducing incentives such as business rates relief and relaxed planning permission to attract digital, creative and games companies into the area. Meanwhile, business incubation programmes such as Birmingham Science Park Aston’s Entrepreneurs for the Future scheme provides gaming, digital and ICT start-ups with office facilities and support.

Sarah Darch, Investment Manager at Business Birmingham, specialises in attracting and supporting games and digital media companies across Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country. She added: “That a global name like Codemasters is expanding here demonstrates that the gaming industry is taking the Birmingham area seriously as a place to locate and grow their businesses. A number of other local gaming companies are now expanding, employing new staff or attracting investment, building a real sense of excitement and momentum in the area. Indeed, during a recent visit to the West Coast of the US, a number of digital companies expressed a real interest in establishing a presence here as a first step into Europe.

“The business community and public sector have worked together to create wide range of benefits for smaller companies looking to grow in the region – from education and training, to rates relief and incubation schemes – it has become easier to set up or grow a business here. With so much happening in the city right now, I expect that a number of other games developers will follow in Codemasters footsteps and look to establish and expand their presence here.”