Here East has appointed Louise Conolly-Smith as Head of Special Projects (Creative) with a focus on video games and eSports for the tech and innovation campus.
The move comes as Here East becomes home to a growing video games and eSports cluster, and is set to become the first hub dedicated to video games and eSports in the UK, with the likes of leading video games and eSports businesses Sports Interactive, Bidstack and BT Sports already situated at the campus.
Louise Conolly-Smith will be on secondment at Here East from London & Partners, where she is currently Head of Creative, promoting London internationally as a leading world city in which to invest, work and visit. She will continue her Creative Sector work for London & Partners during this secondment.
Louise will be joining Here East as Head of Special Projects (Creative) with a focus on video games and eSports to support the growth of the hub, ensuring the relationship between Here East and the booming video games and eSports sector continues to grow.
The UK video games sector currently has a market value of a record £5.7bn. The sector employs over 47,000 people across the country and there are over 2000 active games companies in the UK.
In addition, Staffordshire University announced last month that they are moving their specialist eSports hub: Digital Institute London to the Here East campus. The institute will offer degrees to train the next eSports managers, shoutcasters and broadcasters, as well as hosting eSports competition.
Louise brings a wealth of experience to this role. Prior to becoming Head of Creative at London & Partners, Louise was working with North American technology companies based in London, aiding them in their expansion. Louise is also a mentor for the London & Partners Business Growth Programme and has worked at the Design Council delivering a national business support programme as well as at Business Link as a coach and mentor to high growth companies.
As the most successful post-Olympic transformation of an International Press and Broadcast Centre in the world, Here East is now home to a curated community of tenants, spanning start-ups, global corporates, creative businesses and academic institutions.
The campus has brought more than 3,900 jobs to the Stratford area and is home to academic institutions such as Loughborough University London and UCL, fast-growth businesses including MATCHESFASHION.com and Fiit, and global companies such as BT Sport and Ford. Here East is fast becoming a cultural hub and a leader in the creative industries, with the announcement of the arrival of the V&A Collection and Research Centre and the opening of new state-of-the-art studios for creatives opened with The Trampery.
Louise Conolly-Smith comments,
“I’m really thrilled to be working at Here East and am looking forward to using my experience of promoting London to help amplify the amazing work that has been taking place here. London is a global leader in video games and eSports is a huge growth opportunity that Here East is perfectly placed to help develop.”
Gavin Poole, Chief Executive of Here East, comments,
“We are delighted that Louise will be joining Here East, bringing her wealth of experience on fast-growth tech businesses in London to the campus. The games sector is expanding at a phenomenal rate and we are aiming to cement our reputation as the eSports hub of the UK.”