14 March 2023

PLANS for a state-of-the-art esports performance and education campus on the banks of the River Wear were outlined at a special event this month (3 March).

Around 80 business and education leaders attended a Professionals Lunch at City Bistro at Sunderland College – catered for by students – and organised by Sunderland BID.

And guest speaker Chester King, CEO and founder of British Esports - the national body for esports - revealed its plans for the multi- million-pound development adjacent to the city’s Stadium of Light.

Esports - electronic sports - refers to organised competitive video gaming, in which teams and individual players pit their skills against one another online and often in front of large live audiences to win trophies and cash prizes.

British Esports plans to establish a National Esports Performance Campus (NEPC) at the Riverside site, which will become a centre of excellence, with a 17x3M screen, 100+ seats for spectators, HD broadcasting capability, classrooms and performance rooms.

The campus will also incorporate a large garden with exercise spaces for table tennis and basketball and British Esports has also purchased three team houses in Sunniside to house national and pro esports teams while they train and compete in the city.

“This is simply going to be huge for the city,” said Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID, which holds Professional Lunches twice a year.

“It will bring jobs and visitors to the city and support Sunderland, the North East and the UK to become a globally-recognised esports hub and the event was a fantastic way of enabling all the city’s key players to find out more about it.”

Chester King, CEO, British Esports said: “We’re delighted to announce the increased investment and expansion to our state-of-the-art National Esports Performance Campus in Sunderland, at a time when the city and region is going through its most transformative period in recent years.

“From day one the team at Sunderland Bid have been extremely welcoming and helpful and we’re looking forward to supporting Sunderland’s aims that our multi-functional sporting, creative and educational venue will attract.”

The event was sponsored by Bradley Hall and senior surveyor, Helen Wall, said: “We are incredibly proud to be the first of Sunderland BID’s corporate partners and are excited to be able to support an organisation that is so passionate about improving the way people live, work and socialise in Sunderland.

“It is brilliant to see what business lunches, such as the Professionals Lunch, can bring to the city. Creating an opportunity for likeminded individuals to discuss the future of Sunderland, while opening conversation up for key individuals during this exciting time in the city’s development is fantastic to see and to be a part of.

“Being able to sponsor this event while being a Friend of the BID is something Bradley Hall is proud of during this exciting time of growth.”

Anyone wishing to attend the next Professionals Lunch, organised by Sunderland BID, should contact [email protected]