Agenda and minutes

Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel - Thursday 21st January, 2021 1.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Scott Bonner 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


There were no declarations of interest received at this point in the meeting.


Cultural Events in Middlesbrough - Alternative Formats

The Chief Executive of the British Esports Association and the Chairman of the Advisory Board to the British Esports Association will be in attendance to provide information about what impact esports have both culturally and economically.  


The Chair welcomed everyone to the Panel and advised Members that representatives of the British Esports Association were in attendance to provide information relating to the second terms of reference of the Panel’s review into Cultural Events. The Chair also advised that Members of the Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel as well as officers from the Council’s Regeneration Department were in attendance.


The Chair invited Andy Payne, Chair of BEA, Alice Lehman, Schools and Colleges Liaison Officer for the BEA and Gary Tibbett the Education Manager at the BEA to deliver their presentation. The Schools and Colleges Liaison Officer described her role as engaging with schools and colleges in the North of the UK to help them understand what esports was and how it could be used. The Education Manager outlined that his role was to embed esports qualifications, such as the BTech in esports that was available at levels one, two and three. He also clarified that Higher Education qualifications were being developed in esports. 


During the presentation the following points were made:

·         It was important to understand how esports had potential cultural and commercial impacts.

·         The BEA were a not-for-profit and had been in existence since 2016. One of the Association’s objectives was to promote esports, foster British talent and raise awareness of the industry.

·         The BEA also offered advice and expertise as well as educating a range of stakeholders such as parents, teachers and policy makers.

·         Importantly, the BEA was not a governing body for the digital industry like the Football Association was for English football.

·         The BEA was a member of different organisations including the Welsh Sports Association and the Creative Industries Federation.

·         Watching sports was part of our culture and watching others play video games was a continuation of this but in a different format.

·         Competitive video gaming was always human verus human, and often team versus team.

·         Esports and competitive video gaming was a game of skill, and games became an esport when the community decided to take that game to a different level.

·         Some video games were modern mind games, having rules, choice and consequences. 

·         Competitive gaming had various rewards including medals and cash prizes.

·         Esports was gender neutral with just as many female participants as males globally.

·         The BEA had pioneered the Women in esports Committee. 

·         Global audiences watching esports were expansive given that many events were broadcast on Youtube and Twitch.

·         Professional gaming had the same level of support as many traditional sports, such as coaches and nutritionists.

·         Other countries recognised eports as an actual sport, but this is not the case in the UK. However, the esports sector did report to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

·         The sector as a whole was projected to move to have a global audience of approximately 645 million people by 2022.

·         Accessing esports was easy and transnational in nature. This was due to the popularity of games but also because of social media platforms such as YouTube  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20/27


Chair's OSB Update


The Chair advised the Panel that at the previous meeting of OSB on 14 January the Chief Executive and Director of Public Health provided an update in respect of the Council's response to the Covid Pandemic.


The Board also received an update from the Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health Integration, who responded to questions on her portfolio, with specific reference to Dementia Friendly initiatives


The Board were also introduced to the new Chair of the Teeswide Adult Safeguarding Board, who with the Director of Adult Social Care and Public Health Integration provided an update on the 2019-20 annual report and the Strategic Business plan for 2020 to 2021.


The Chair of OSB commented that it was disappointing the final report of the Panel’s review into Social Cohesion had not been presented to the Board despite its appearance on the agenda.



Any other urgent items which in the opinion of the Chair, may be considered.