The UK games industry is to get a £2 million government funding boost, spearheaded by Ed Vaizey, Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills. The news follows the coalition government’s move to scrap a proposed 20% tax break for UK games companies in last month’s budget announcement.
The focal point for the funding will be the University of Abertay in Dundee, which is the home of the centre of excellence for the UK computer games industry. Small businesses looking to start work on new games will receive most help, giving them the support they need to develop prototypes which may otherwise be impossible.
“The Government recognises the difficult challenges faced by the UK video games industry in the wake of a new economic climate,” said Vaizey at today’s Develop video games conference. “It is an industry that has real potential to create the high quality jobs of the future that will be so important as we recover from the recession.
“We need to invest in talent that will ensure the UK remains at the forefront of games creativity. That is why it is important to focus on skills and on giving small companies the support they have been telling us they need to help them take forward innovative new games concepts. These small and start-up companies will play an important part in enhancing the international competitiveness of our games industry, whilst showing the UK is open for business.”
With the announcement also came the news that Ian Livingstone of Tomb Raider/Eidos fame will continue in his role as Chair of the Skillset Games Council and “act as a skills champion for the video games sector, working with Government to help drive forward work to produce a better skilled workforce for the sector”.