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Visa Routes Open for International Games Developers in Growing Northern Games Hub




International games developers and studios have a new route to start their games business in the North of England


Kollider powered by Barclays Eagle Labs has called out for games developers and small studios to apply to join their specialist digital and tech Incubator, giving an in-road for businesses, across the globe, to operate within the UK’s booming games sector.

As an endorsing body for the purpose of Startup and Innovator visas, Kollider is on the hunt for exceptionally talented teams or solo developers who can evidence an innovative, scalable and viable games development business. Applications are open from April to December 2020 and submissions are reviewed weekly by a panel of industry experts.

Based in Sheffield, Kollider sits at the heart of an active gaming community, which is experiencing huge momentum and growth within the North of England.


Tailored support provided to grow your games development businesses


Throughout the duration of the endorsement, the team at Kollider and Eagle Labs have put together package of tools and support specifically designed to help any entrepreneurial games developer from early stage development through to publishing and entry into the market.


Members have access to on-site facilities including state of the art VR compatible pc’s with 2080 TI graphics cards and industry standard peripherals. This test bed facility has been created to make it incredibly easy and affordable to land in a fully equipped studio, and spend your time and money focusing on what you do best.


More general business support is also provided, whether its advice on how to build the right team, understanding the funding routes available or accessing one-to-one mentoring from industry experts – each piece of the puzzle has been thought through to enable your business to scale and grow.


A government creative tax credit scheme backed by loans from Barclays Bank


One of the most enticing things for someone looking to start a games business in the UK, is the creative tax credits scheme, a government initiative available for UK businesses. It has been designed to provide industries, like Games development, the ability to claim back either a cash repayment of money they have spent on the game or a tax relief from the government.

In the UK or the European Economic Area this is equal to 20% of the qualifying spend, even if part of the game is developed outside of the UK or European Economic Area you can still make a claim however these amounts can vary.

To support this scheme even further, the Barclays Business Banking team have created a specific creative tax credits loan. Simply put, Barclays are able to offer a loan of 90% of the amount of the tax refund, so you’re not losing development time waiting for it to be paid by the tax credit scheme. It’s common for applications to take between 6-8 weeks for HMRC to process, so the innovative loan from Barclays gives games developers the chance to kick start development.


Connections into the UK Games Industry

With direct connections into the UK trade bodies including the likes of UKIE, Games Republic, TIGA and Women in Games, businesses endorsed through Kollider have direct access to the most influential gaming communities in the UK.

Regular events are hosted by these communities giving you the opportunity to learn, upskill and have you finger on the pulse when it comes to what’s what and who’s who in gaming.


Sheffield is fast becoming one of the UK’s Gaming hot spots


Since the inception of gaming, the UK has been one of the hot spots for games development globally, with Sheffield now quickly becoming one of the UK’s regional centres for gaming. It is home to a wealth of games developers including the likes of Sumo, a world-class award-winning games developer, who most recently have brought us games like Team Sonic Racing and Crackdown 3.


Indie games are also hugely prevalent throughout the city including Boneloaf with popular game Gang Beasts, Dumpling with mobile hit Crashy Dashy, and a thriving retro development scene which includes Big Evil Corp with Tanglewood.


The National Videogame Museum (NVM), closely affiliated with the British Games Institute (BGI), also calls Kollider home. The NVM showcases the past, present and future of games in the form of an interactive arcade and welcomes thousands of game-goers to Sheffield from around the UK.

Sheffield Hallam University offer Courses and MA in Games Design and Development, along with feeder courses run by Sheffield College and the more general computer science degrees from The University of Sheffield. All in all, there is an organic pipeline of talent with the ambition and drive to graduate into roles in the industry.


Gaming cafés continue to emerge throughout the city, with recently opened bars like Meltdown and Church Temple of Fun, offering the perfect social hangouts for avid gamers.


While Kollider and Eagle Labs continue to bring the community together by hosting guests from across the ecosystem at regular events and on the Sheffield Games Collective Podcast.


Now is the chance to set up your games development business in the UK


If you are considering moving to the UK to build and develop your games business, it’s easy to say the support, connections and community at Kollider Eagle Labs and in Sheffield provide a solid launch pad for any gaming business.


To find out more about the process of applying for a Startup or Innovator visa click here.


If you’re already based in the UK and you're interested in the support we offer games developers and studios, you can still access all of the same benefits by becoming a member of Kollider powered by Barclays Eagle Labs.

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