UKIE has submitted a number of proposals to the UK government, ahead of the forthcoming budget (March 3rd), aimed at helping the UK games industry to grow significantly in the coming years.
UKIE emphasised the the games industry as a key sector of ‘real national strength’ in the proposals highlighting the economic challenges of COVID-19 to the sector, stating:
“Throughout the pandemic, the sector has demonstrated a 21st-century ability to be agile, creative in problem-solving and innovation. Less than one-quarter of video game businesses have needed to access Government support while nearly half of video game businesses reported an increase in revenues and many companies have continued to recruit.
“But we cannot take our resilience for granted. Global competition is fierce and the competitive advantage we hold can just as easily be lost as enhanced. And the sector does face medium to long term challenges, not least talent shortages, which require support to overcome.”
UKIE is calling on the government to:
- Boost already impressive industry growth by investing in new content and IP through a three year £24m UK Games Development Fund;
- Capitalise on the UK’s position at the top table of games production by turbocharging its international trade potential with a £700k trade and investment programme;
- Create a coordinated, national games business support programme that will accelerate the business capacity and knowledge of UK games companies, making them the best equipped in the world to grow and seek investment
- Shore up the talent pipeline to enable new entrants into the sector through a £2.6m Games Trainee fund; and
- Expanding the hugely successful Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) to increase tax receipts, create jobs, boost exports and level up the UK.
UKIE is now working with the BFI, to figure out how many people are actually employed by the UK games industry, and how much the sector delivers back to the economy. According to UKIE the industry supports nearly 50,000 jobs across the UK ‘from Dundee to Belfast; Cardiff to Newcastle’.
The UK government has, in the past, provided support to the industry via VGTR, the UK Games Fund and Transfuzer (‘UKGFT’), as well as funding via the Tradeshow Access Program (‘TAP’).
UKIE claims that this incentivises the development of British, world-leading intellectual property and technology that is enjoyed by billions across the globe, but will also give global investors and those looking to establish a business in the UK confidence that they will find support at a national level.
The statement concludes: “with the right additional support in place, the UK can continue to reach further heights and stand out as one of the best nations in the world for video games development.”
You can read the entire statement on the UKIE website.