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EM3 Funds The South’s First Esports Skills Facility

Last updated 28 September 2023
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Artist's Impression of QMC Esports facility

The Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership is investing in the South’s first Esports (electronic sports) training facility at Queen Mary’s College in Basingstoke.

Esports is one of the fastest growing entertainment and media sectors in the world. Events now attract more than 450 million unique viewers per year and revenues are already surpassing the $1Bn milestone.

This pioneering facility will provide up to 80 young people a year the opportunity to develop the specialised digital skills needed to ensure this hugely successful area of the digital games and entertainment industry continues to grow .

EM3 has agreed to contribute £228,000 toward a total cost of £460,000. The investment directly reflects the LEP’s just published Skills Action Plan, for the EM3 area. The Plan includes an ambitious framework to provide new training in high-tech , skills in specialist digital sectors including gaming and immersive tech.

“EM3’s Skills Action Plan has identified the provision of digital skills as a priority area of investment, so we are really proud to have partnered with QMC to fund this ground-breaking facility. Young people will find the skills they develop here to be applicable to the esports industry of the future, but also transferable to other areas of our local economy.

EM3’s games sector has an enviable reputation, renowned as the ‘Hollywood of Games’, and this project is another example of how the LEP is supporting and strengthening the sector with the provision of skills for the future.”

Sam Read , EM3’s Sector Specialist in Games and Immersive Tech

“We are delighted with the grant from EM3 and hope this firmly puts us on the map for leading this contemporary, engaging and vital course for an ever-increasing, global industry. This building will have state-of-the-art teaching and gaming facilities thanks to our global partnership with HP, Belong Gaming Arenas and YoYoTech and allow us to be the leading esports provider for post-16 education in the south of England. 

Leading is about going first and that’s what QMC are doing here with this course and the investment and partnership with EM3 allows us to get students ready for this brand new industry and put digital business skills at the heart of this project. We look forward to welcoming the new generation of students to QMC in September and watching this qualification flourish in this fantastic new space“

James Fraser-Murison , Director of Learning at QMC and who helped write units for the first ever BTEC in esports

Esports is organised video gaming, through which individuals compete against each other online as well as at spectator events in indoor arenas. It is played by both amateurs and professionals and is accessible to all, regardless of disadvantage, disabilities and other potential barriers to participation.



Queen Mary's College, Cliddesden Rd
RG21 3HF
United Kingdom


From 1 April 2024, the responsibility for LEP functions across the Enterprise M3 LEP region has transferred to Hampshire County Council and Surrey County Council.

The Enterprise M3 Board met for the last time in March 2024 and Enterprise M3 LEP is no longer operating as an organisation.

For any enquiries relating to economic development across the counties of Hampshire and Surrey, please visit the Hampshire County Council website and Business Surrey respectively.

Please note that Enterprise M3 LEP staff have transferred to Hampshire County Council to continue to deliver services and activities in Hampshire, including the Growth Hub, the Careers Hub, work on key business sectors, and trade and investment.  

They can be contacted by emailing and respectively. Alternatively, please contact the

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