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The Wired Lobby Aims for a September 2023 Soft Launch with Support of Middlesbrough Council
The 'Gamers Paradise' has a solid date to work to after great support from Middlesbrough Council.
By: Home on the Web
The esports venue was initially a thought and a conversation between Andy Preston (Mayor) and Edwin Ford (MD of Gaming Venues Ltd) back in 2021. Andy is an avid supporter of the project and regularly 'pops in' to see how things are developing. It was clear this project means more to both Andy and Edwin than just another entertainment venue as Edwin spoke of redesigning the kitchen area with the team at the Council and how the additions to the VIP area upstairs will add a whole new dimension made possible by the new lift.
We have learned just how much Middlesbrough Council have supported the project and with the help of Richard Horniman (Director of Regeneration)
What was once a clothing store with adequate electrical supply for a few tills and drainage for a couple of staff toilets has now been transformed into a premises capable of dealing with several hundred pieces of electrical equipment and a completely new waste system to deal with the demands of the kitchen and washrooms. To ensure the air quality met with the latest post COVID standards, new air conditioning would be required and designed to meet the latest safety specifications. Nasreen has been instrumental in her role working alongside the departments and contractors whilst liaising with Edwin to ensure the project is to be delivered to the standards required by law and which both Edwin and Andy demand from a professional perspective.
Changes to the initial floor plan include on the ground floor a more prominent merchandising area, more floor space in the restaurant area and more gaming tables in the bar area with the introduction of the charity retro gaming 'barrels' from Launch Pad. Upstairs sees three state-of-the-
Edwin and his team have been very busy in the background building relationships and the brand both locally and internationally whilst work at the premises has been progressing and developing with the aforementioned new features. As part of the two year agreement with Teesside University Edwin was able to introduce Gaming Malta and Teesside University to collaborate on future projects including student exchange and taking slots at each other's events such as Animex. There is a lot of synergy between them both as Malta runs Base Camp which is almost identical to Launch Pad in Teesside and both organisations are keen to continue the relationship.
The partnership with Katana Gaming has been bubbling beneath the surface as the new tournament platform is close to launching, The Wired Lobby will soon be running online and LAN tournaments incorporating the software which forms part of the unique management software suite being developed as a full turn key solution for the venue. Katana have been growing their administration and gaming staff in anticipation of the opening and growth of The Wired Lobby as the first online tournament gets ever closer. Call of Duty, Valorant and Rocket League will feature and take advantage of the 'switcheroo' feature which is built-in to the software.
If you have an interest in Touring Car racing you may have seen The Wired Lobby proudly displayed on the corners of Restart Racings TCR UK Championship Winning Honda driven by Chris Smiley. This weekend (7th & 8th May) sees the championship racing at Croft and for the 2023 season The Wired Lobby is displayed on both Chris Smiley and Scott Sumptons Hondas. Both drivers will be frequenting the venue and competing in the tournaments along with running professional coaching sessions and offering driver tips.
Another new aspect for 2023 is the involvement of the Junior Driver Program which Restart Racing run, it includes young drivers and gives them the support and training to help them develop into adult racing. On the books we have a young talent, Kian Burnard, who will be attending the venue for training on the professional simulators.
With regards to supporting the wider audience we learned of something which The Wired Lobby are right in the middle of and have brought on-board Paul Merson as their ambassador for social projects with a view to assisting with. We can't say too much at this stage as the details are being held closely but please keep an eye out for the announcement on this.
We saw the Franchise side of the business launch a couple of weeks ago and Edwin has already spoken of interest with two parties actively looking for venues in the UK to open more 'Wired Lobbys'. Discussions have just begun and interest is coming in daily which shows the strength of the brand and means we could well be looking at several venues before the end of the year.
Middlesbrough is a well known centre for games development and Teesside University leads the way in the games and development sector supported so well by Middlesbrough College and the strength of the gaming studios. It is absolutely vital that The Wired Lobby, being a networking paradise where potential developers could socialise with what could be their future employer, delivers what can only be described as a 'gamers paradise' and carries the slogan with pride.
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