£5.7m 5G boost for British Esports’ multi-site venue in Sunderland

British Esports Gaming Accommodation

For transparency: Esports News UK editor Dom Sacco used to work full-time for British Esports between September 2016 and February 2021, and currently does some freelance work for them, producing their weekly email newsletter.

Update (September 2023): The British Esports National Esports Performance Campus (NEPC) is getting 5G connectivity as part of a £5.7m grant funding boost.

Sunderland AFC’s Stadium of Light football ground has also gained access to the funding, which comes from the Open Networks Ecosystem (ONE) competition. It’s one of 19 projects benefiting from a Government announcement of an £88m investment in open 5G connectivity solutions across the UK.

The ‘Sunderland Open Network EcosysTem’ (SONET) Project is led by Sunderland City Council and a consortium of partners: Boldyn Networks, British Esports, Sunderland AFC and Perform Green.

Chester King, CEO at British Esports, commented: “I’m immensely proud of British Esports and our partners for securing the SONET 5G bid in Sunderland. “This signifies a monumental leap forward for our new arena, part of the National Esports Performance Campus. With the power of 5G connectivity, we are poised to redefine the future of live esports and sports experiences.

“The Arena (opening Q1 2024) will become a centre for cutting-edge technology, offering players, fans, and enthusiasts an unparalleled environment for growth, engagement, and innovation. This milestone not only cements our commitment to the esports community but also reinforces our dedication to driving progress in the industry, both locally and on a global scale.”

Original article (March 2023):

National body the British Esports Federation will be launching more physical locations on top of its upcoming esports performance and education campus at Riverside Sunderland this year.

Early last year, British Esports announced it would be opening its National Esports Performance Campus (NEPC) and that is still set to open later this year.

Today British Esports has confirmed other physical locations will be joining it, like new esports and gaming accommodation and a ‘multi-purpose entertainment venue’, bringing the overall space to more than 30,000sq ft.

Located close to the NEPC, the new hub and Grade II listed townhouses – currently undergoing renovation – are situated in a conservation area, first established in the 17th century. They will be split over four floors and are scheduled to open in late spring 2023. The hub will also feature a room with 100 PCs in it.

Providing accommodation for up to 25 people, the properties will feature separate living and leisure areas, plus a ‘cutting edge digital performance and gaming room’.

The National Esports Performance Campus itself is an 11,000sq ft, 1:1 acre esports training and educational complex, split across two floors, with provision for over 150 students. The venue will feature an esports arena, stage, classrooms, performance and training rooms, broadcast and content production facilities, sim racing and more.

British Esports hopes to ‘establish Great Britain as one of the leading esports nations within the next 10 years’

British Esports says this move is part of its committment to delivering on its vision of ‘establishing Great Britain as one of the leading esports nations globally, within the next 10 years’.

“As a founding member of the Global Esports Federation, British Esports will be the first amongst its 120 members to have its own dedicated esports campus, ensuring that the UK is continuing to lead the development of esports education, infrastructure, and opportunity,” British Esports added in a press release.

“We are proud to be making a significant investment in Sunderland and the North East with a new multi-site venue capable of attracting and developing the digital forward society of tomorrow,” said Andy Payne OBE, Chair, British Esports.

“We are excited to be developing infrastructure for the UK esports ecosystem, but, as part of the UK’s national levelling up campaign, we are equally thrilled that the people of the North East will have an incredible facility on their doorstep.”

Andy Payne OBE, British Esports

“Sunderland is a hugely ambitious city, and one that fully embraces the transformative power of digital to bring communities together, so it is fitting that a sport that is built on digital and technology is investing so significantly here,” added Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council.

“British Esports’ investment in Riverside Sunderland with its Performance Campus and in Sunniside with the gaming accommodation, fits perfectly with our regeneration programme, which is transforming both of these parts of the city centre, and we’re delighted to be working closely with them to support them with their plans.”

There’s more info on the Federation’s work in education on the British Esports website

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments