UKIE calls for additional £8m funding for devs in 2016 Budget

Improved LEP clarity, measures to promote UK industry as global games force and apprenticeship levy flexibility also among proposals
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Games industry trade body UKIE has laid out its suggestions for next month’s government Budget.

Chief among its proposals is an additional £8 million in funding, provided through National Lottery receipts, to support “original UK games talent”. The extra public investment was originally suggested late last year ahead of the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

Joining the advised focus on developing new devs is a focus on making access to funding and links through Local Enterprise Partnership structures (LEPs) outside of London more accessible and clear.

International talent is also valued in the organisation’s ‘Blueprint for Growth’ report, with UKIE recommending that the government’s plans to tighten the Tier 2 visa system would limit access to global talent for British outlets and potentially damage their growth.

Similarly, measures to protect against a potential £2 million industry cost as the result of the government’s new apprenticeship levy are also encouraged.

“The new apprenticeship development and accreditation system is considered at worst unworkable and at best does not represent value-for-money,” UKIE said. “The Levy will be payable before effective standards have been developed for the industry due to rules and timescales set out by BIS.

“We recommend that levy funding is used for developing new standards applicable to the games industry so that employers in games will be able to spend their digital vouchers effectively in 2016/17.”

“With these targeted proposals that we set out in our Blueprint for Growth, we believe we can create the best environment for growth within the games industry and wider digital economy,” said UKIE CEO Dr Jo Twist.

“We are already a world-class sector, but with the right support we can secure our talent pipeline, maintain a stable regulatory environment, and help companies continue to innovate and scale so we can be a true global leader for games and interactive entertainment.”

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