A BLACKBURN entrepreneur has forged a partnership with a Silicon Valley tech giant to establish a global hub for the gaming industry.

Mo Isap, CEO of Lancashire training and consultancy company the IN4.0 Group, says that the new Unity Centre of Excellence, based in MediaCityUK in Salford at the HOST facility, will offer support to students, professionals and small businesses with a mission of becoming the ‘Beacon of the North’ for technical skills and innovation across various industries.

US company Unity has partnered with IN4.0 to open the centre and will be using it to work with a range of game developers, artists, architects, automotive designers and filmmakers.

Blackburn-born Mr Isap said: “This is an incredible coup for us, we are immensely humbled and privileged for Unity to have chosen us.

"We can now massively accelerate startup growth, business innovation, incentivise the creation of thousands of jobs, and provide fair access to high-quality career starts.

“Unity is the leader in real-time 3D development so the Centre of Excellence at HOST will establish the North as a global destination for the growth of the gaming and immersive technology industry.

"The Centre of Excellence is another major asset in our world-leading digital city region.

"Designers, developers, and artists collaborate through Unity and create a fantastic bridge between creative and technical worlds.

"The North West is blessed with the most integrated and diverse digital ecosystem, a foundation upon which our partnership with Unity will drive a job-rich recovery.”

According recent research by the XQ Institute, the biggest change between the workforce today and the workforce in 2030 will be the demand for advanced IT and programming skills.

Mr Isap and his partners hope that the Centre of Excellence will help learners hone their skills for these jobs and will establish a home for the UK video games industry in the North West.

Unity vice president Ryan Peterson said: “Immersive technology such as AR and VR is developing and diversifying at breakneck speed, transforming all sectors, including gaming, entertainment, health, education, retail, manufacturing, and more.

“The most exciting and long-lasting impact will be our work to create sustainable job opportunities in the local sector and, in tandem, develop professionals with the skills to take on those opportunities.”

To find out more, go to: https://in40.co.uk/.