Budget extends UK Games Fund

Although the £1m pledged is less than recommendations suggested

Yesterday’s UK budget provided some welcome news for UK games studios, with confirmation of another £1m to extend the UK Games Fund until 2020.

This falls a fair way short of the £23.7m proposed in the Independent Review of the Creative Industries just two months ago, however, although does at least extend the Games Fund beyond its initially proposed lifespan.

There was also a boost for R&D spend and a slight bump in associated tax credits, as well as pledged to improve the provision of computer science in schools.

“We are pleased to see that the government has announced a further £1m to extend the UK Games Fund until 2020, a scheme that has enormously benefited early ideas and new companies,” Ukie CEO Jo Twist said.

“We therefore welcome the investment in maths and computer science teaching which provides a critical talent pipeline to the industry but we shall continue to push for more investment in skills of the future, securing access to the highly skilled talent that our sector needs, and the creation of culturally exciting British games.

“We look forward to hearing about more specific and targeted measures that may be introduced in the Industrial Strategy White paper, due to be published in the next few days. The team has worked really hard on all sorts of working groups as part of this process over this year.”

TIGA CEO Richard Wilson added: "The provision of a further £1 million to extend the UK Games Fund until 2020 is fantastic news and will help more start-ups and small studios access to finance and business. The expansion of Tech City UK's reach and further investment in R&D and AI is also good news for the video games industry and other high technology sectors.

"TIGA strongly supports the Government's plans to incentivise the study of maths - which is already the most popular A level subject - more computer science teachers and support for FE colleges to prepare for the introduction of T-Levels. The games industry, the creative sectors and the wider UK economy need a highly skilled, trained and educated workforce to compete successfully.”