Teesside University’s internationally renowned Animex festival is supporting a new scholarship to help students from under-represented groups to achieve a career in the animation or games industries.

The Animex Scholarship is available to students from under-represented groups who are seeking to study one of a range of degrees in the University’s School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies.

It is being funded by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority, which are key partners to the annual Animex festival and has helped to drive its success in recent years.

The Animex Scholarship will provide £2,500 to one eligible student who successfully enrols to study animation, stop motion, concept art, visual effects, games art, games design, games development or games programming during the 2022-23 academic year.

The successful Animex scholar will also receive free access during their degree to the University’s internationally renowned Animex festival, which celebrates the best in animation, VFX and computer games and draws industry heavyweights from all over the world to share their secrets of success.

Animex, which is now in its 23rd year, holds annual screenings, workshops and exhibitions, along with a line-up of talks by animation, games and VFX industry experts who share insights and behind the scenes stories from some of the world’s biggest animated titles, television and film blockbusters and bestselling games.

Last year the festival introduced a Diversity and Inclusivity Showcase programme of talks and discussion, organised in partnership UKIE #RaiseTheGame, to showcase projects to highlight diversity and inclusivity within the games industry.

Teesside University is a #RaiseTheGame academic pledge partner, demonstrating the University’s commitment to championing and fostering equality, diversity and inclusion, while working collectively to drive meaningful cultural and behavioural change to create a more diverse and inclusive games industry.

Siobhan Fenton, Associate Dean (Enterprise and Business Engagement), School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies, said: “We are excited to be working with the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority to offer this scholarship, which will help to break down barriers to help encourage students from under-represented and disadvantaged groups into the games and animation industries.

“It could make a real difference to a talented student with passion for games or animation.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “With the fantastic Animex festival, each year Teesside University inspires and entertains while showing off the best local talent in our ever-growing digital sector.

“So to further support this industry and those passionate about a career in the digital sector, we’re working with Teesside University to offer this scholarship. It will both help spread opportunity and offer a helping hand to those who may need it most.

“You don’t need to go far to see our region’s strength in this sector – just look at those growing at Middlesbrough’s Boho – but it’s vital we support our local talent, show students that there’s a great career waiting for them on their doorstep, and then give them the means to secure one.

“Teesside has long been famous for its industry and will continue to be for decades to come but we are making huge strides in the digital sector and we have some fantastic local businesses trading on a global scale. This industry is exciting, dynamic, and is creating jobs for the future. I will continue to support its growth in any way I can.”