The UK government is investing £20 million in the country’s creative industries to attract and develop talent.
The new initiative, announced by Creative Industries Minister Margot James (thanks, GamesIndustry.biz) includes direct support for video game projects, as well as other industries such as animation, film, and TV.
According to a recent report by the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the UK’s creative industries contribute over £90 billion to the country’s economy. The report – whilst using provisional figures – intimates that the Gross Value Added (GVA) across our creative sectors rose twice as fast as the rest of the UK economy, rising by 7.6 per cent in 2016 to £91.8 billion in 2018.
A £14 million Creative Careers Programme will help leading industry figures link with schools and colleges as role models and to raise awareness of the potential career paths, in the hope of attracting an additional 160,000 students into the creative industries by 2020. £4 million has been earmarked to support and nurture creative businesses in Bristol, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands, while £2 million will go to the Get It Right campaign, which aims to educate consumers about copyright infringement and piracy.
In terms of direct support for the games industry, The UK Games Fund has been allocated £190,000 to support the development of a new Pitch Development Programme to help studios secure grants, while the Digital Schoolhouse project – run by UKIE and PlayStation – has been awarded £200,000 to enable the project to grow to 50 schools by next September, hoping to reach an additional 7,000 pupils.
"It’s critical that we solve the creative and digital skills gap in the UK," said UKIE CEO Dr Jo Twist. "Digital Schoolhouse is an inclusive and essential programme that gives inspiring training and accessible tools as well as confidence to educators. Crucially, it helps equip the next generation with creative computing literacy and valuable transferable skills to become part of the digital creative workforce of the future. With this valuable support, the programme can extend its reach and impact."