Northampton College has this week opened a brand new esports arena, as part of its £6.3m digital academy.
This academy is partly funded by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership’s (SEMLEP) Local Growth Fund, reports the Northampton Chronicle & Echo.
Aside from the esports area, it also includes a TV studio, digital workshops, a design studio and more.
Northampton College is one of more than 150 institutions that teaches the Esports BTEC qualification in the UK, which has been produced by education provider Pearson and the British Esports Association. The college also runs courses in games design, digital skills, computing and more.
Students from Northampton College also take part in the British Esports Student Championships, a series of national competitions in the likes of League of Legends, Rocket League, Overwatch and Valorant. The college’s Valorant team played a match during the opening of the arena.
This arena – at the college’s Booth Lane campus – will also allow students to cast esports and work on production from a separate control room.
Principal of Northampton College, Pat Brennan-Barrett, commented: “Our digital academy is far more than classrooms and computer screens – it is a place where the future will be created before our very eyes.
“Our courses and apprenticeships allow individuals to explore digital careers and progress through a pathway of qualifications leading to higher education, apprenticeships and employment.”
Stephen Ratcliffe-Jones, curriculum manager for media at Northampton College, added: “The amount of games design and production companies that are popping up in Cambridge and Milton Keynes… our students are going to be the next generation of people doing those jobs.”
In other UK esports college news, organisation Lucent Esports recently partnered with Kirklees College to help students learn about esports, while a new Burnley College facility became the Burnley FC Esports Academy.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.