Government needs to measure expenditure on trade support

Tiga said today that the Government must start accurately to measure public expenditure on supporting the UK video games industry. Tiga made the comments on learning that the Government does not know how much UK Trade&Investment (UKT&I), the Governments international business development organisation, spends on supporting the video games industry. The situation came to light as a result of a question tabled by Philip Davies MP to Ian Lucas MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

Richard Wilson, CEO of Tiga, said:

The UK recorded a deficit on trade in goods and services of 3 billion in April 2009 and a deficit of 52.6 billion in 2007. We need to rebalance the economy and support those sectors with a high propensity to export in order to help narrow the trade deficit.

The UK games development sector is export oriented. 46 per cent of a typical developers turnover is generated through exports. In 2005, the games sector contributed 200 million to the UKs balance of trade.

UKT&I provide very useful support for game developers, not least through the Trade Access Programme (TAP), which is open to small and medium-sized businesses to enable them to participate in overseas trade fairs. Businesses can apply for grants to take part in a list of eligible events. Tiga, as an accredited trade organisation, is working with UKT&Is TAP scheme in supporting UK businesses looking to exhibit at overseas trade shows.

We need to support the game development sector, an important UK export success story. However, the Government cannot make informed decisions about the level of support which it should give to the sector via UKT&I unless it begins to record expenditure for specific sectors to include games development. The Government must rectify this deficiency.

Notes to editors:

1. Tiga is the trade association representing the UK games industry. We have approximately 150 members, the majority of whom are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. We also have outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership.

2. Tiga's vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. We focus on three sets of activities: political representation, generating media coverage and developing services that enhance the competitiveness of our members. This means that Tiga members are effectively represented in the corridors of power, their voice is heard in the media and they receive benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities.

3. The question tabledby Philip Davies MP and the response that it elicited are as follows:

Philip Davies: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much financial support was given by UK Trade and Investment to the video games industry in 2007-08. <270806>

Ian Lucas: UK Trade and Investment supports the UK Video Game Industry through the ICT, Creative Industries and Education Sector Teams as well as through its overseas posts and regional colleagues based in the Regional Development Agencies. Sector Codes used to account for spend by UKTI in 2007-08 do not include a video game subsector. When one includes activities beneficial to the Video Game Industry through support of the entire Software sector in the UK and overseas, the approximate spend is 464,484.

For further information, please contact: Dr Richard Wilson, Tiga CEO on: 0845 0941095; Mob: 07875 939643; or: Email: richard.wilson@tiga.org, or Eva Whitlow, TIGA PR Manager on: Mob: 07814 039 983; Email: eva@tiga.org.


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