BGI wins Ufi VocTech Seed Fund grant to train women and non-binary people of colour how to make games

Sheffield 1400 11/08/2021: The BGI has won a grant from Ufi VocTech to train a cohort of young women and non-binary people from Sheffield’s minority ethnic communities in games development. BGI aims to build an inspirational course that starts participants on the pathway towards careers in creative industries such as games.

Ufi VocTech Trust is a UK charity working to scale up the delivery of adult vocational skills through digital technology. The grant was awarded from the Seed Fund for the BGI’s Next Level project, which will develop and pilot a women and non-binary-led course for young women and non-binary people introducing them to videogame creation and careers. Using accessible technology, participants will learn art and animation skills, narrative development, and basic coding.

BGI will use the Crayta platform, developed by Unit 2 Games using Unreal Engine. BGI chose this platform because of its accessibility to people with low or no foundation of games development skills, its ability to publish assets and games, and its mobile-friendly interfaces.

The charity, which runs the National Videogame Museum in Sheffield, will utilise the museum’s workshop, which usually hosts workshops from visiting schools, to run evening classes that provide learners from disadvantaged communities in Sheffield with technology and a safe place to learn.

BGI CEO Rick Gibson said “This grant is a key moment in our charity’s development. It crystallises our vision of videogames inspiring people to change their lives and it targets the members of our local community who have been most impacted by Covid-19. We will co-design the course with our participants, recruiting new staff to pilot the course, methodology and technology before we roll it out nationally. We are delighted to join the Seed Fund cohort and are already benefiting from the high levels of development support provided by Ufi.” 

Ufi VocTech Trust is the UK’s leading charity for championing the power of technology to improve skills for work. VocTech’s Seed Fund is focused on supporting the development and deployment of new digital solutions to developing vocational skills. Rebecca Garrod-Waters, Ufi CEO, commented: “I am really pleased we are able to offer this funding to organisations focussed on the UK adult vocational sector – this is a critical time for UK skills and it is vital that we develop the right approach to digital tech. At Ufi VocTech Trust we champion the power of technology to improve skills for work and deliver better outcomes for all. VocTech Seed is our innovation fund, where we support organisations who looking at the best ways to support learners and get better outcomes for all. I am delighted that we’ve made offers to 15 organisations with ambitious ideas using digital to transform vocational learning who will now be able to develop these ideas in the supportive funding environment that Ufi provides”.

BGI is hiring a new Vocational Learning Manager to run this project and help deliver with the wider Vocational Programme. Job details are available here.

BGI is also hiring a Workshop Facilitator to deliver the training. Job details are available here.

Notes to Editors
A press pack including images and video of the galleries is available here.

If you would like to interview BGI staff, please contact Conor Clarke on or 07939 465667.

About the BGI
The BGI is a registered charity number 1183530 that educates the public about the art, science, history and technology of videogames. The BGI runs the National Videogame Museum, Pixelheads, Games Education Summit and is co-founder (alongside Into Games and Grads in Games) of Games Careers Week, a festival promoting games careers to diverse candidates that launched in 2021 and reached 37,000 people and partnered with over 120 games companies, universities, schools and non-profits. For more details about the BGI, please visit: