LONDON, November 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
TIGA, the network for games developers and digital publishers, and the trade association representing the video games industry, called today for the introduction of a Games Investment Fund to improve studios' access to finance, encourage the development of original IP and to enhance studio growth. TIGA's proposal for a Games Investment Fund would entail grants or loans being made available to games businesses on a pound for pound, matched funding basis, up to a maximum of £200,000. TIGA made the comments in advance of the Government's Autumn Statement on November 23rd 2016 and in the TIGA - ITN Productions programme, Changing the Game: http://tiga.org/news/presenting-tiga-and-itn-productions-changing-the-game
Chris White MP, a leading Parliamentarian and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Video Games in the Westminster Parliament, commented on TIGA's proposals:
"I endorse TIGA's proposal for the introduction of a Games Investment Fund and am keen that the Government looks closely at its work in promoting the video games industry. As Co-Chair of the APPG for Video Games, I am acutely aware of this sector's significant contribution to our economy and culture. Access to finance is typically a concern for small firms and I commend TIGA for developing these proposals that will support growth."
Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said:
"Access to finance is the biggest challenge for many games studios in the UK. TIGA's proposal for a Games Investment Fund would enhance developers' access to finance, encourage original IP generation and strengthen the UK video games industry. The matched funding criteria would encourage investment and job growth.
"An analogous scheme in Finland operated by the agency Tekes has been very successful. The scheme has provided financial support to over one fifth of the entire Finnish industry's studio population. The scheme has also been good for the Finnish taxpayer and Government:
for every euro invested in the games industry by Tekes, a return ranging from nine to 26 euros has been generated."
Jason Kingsley OBE TIGA Chairman and CEO and Creative Director at Rebellion, said:
"TIGA's proposals for the Autumn Statement include eight ideas for strengthening the UK video games industry. TIGA's policy proposals include suggestions for improving access to finance, enhancing skills and training and promoting exports. TIGA hopes that the Government will give particular consideration to our proposals for enhancing access to finance."
TIGA has made eight proposals to drive the UK video games industry forward:
- A Games Investment Fund (CCF) should be established in order to improve studios' access to finance, stimulate new content development and IP generation. The Games Investment Fund could make grants or loans available to games businesses on a pound for pound, matched funding basis. The Games Investment Fund could be financed via the National Lottery or via Grant-in-Aid money from the Government.
2. The Government should retain Video Games Tax Relief and consider increasing the rate of the Relief.
3. The Government should consider increasing the rates of Research and Development Tax Relief.
4. The Government should maintain the UK Games Fund which provides valuable prototype funding for small games businesses.
5. The amount of money that a company can raise via SEIS investment should be increased from £150,000 to £200,000 per annum to reflect the rise in development budgets required to make internationally competitive games.
6. Specialist roles should be added to the Shortage Occupation List (including, but not limited to, Game Analyst, Senior Game Artist, Senior Game Designer, Senior Producer, and Engine Programmer). This will enable games businesses to address skill shortages in highly specialised roles.
7. The Government should extend the Skills Investment Fund to promote skills development in the video games industry.
8. The Government should consider allowing the proceeds of the Training Levy to be available to fund a variety of good quality courses as well as apprenticeships.
The Rt Hon, Philip Hammond MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, will present the Autumn Statement on November 23rd 2016.
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TIGA is the network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry. Our core purpose is to strengthen the games development and digital publishing sector. We achieve this by campaigning for the industry in the corridors of power, championing the industry in the media and helping our members commercially.
TIGA is intent on building an enduring organisation which continually improves; a business that will make a significant impact on the games industry and so benefit our membership and the wider economy. Since 2010, TIGA has won 24 business awards, an achievement which reflects TIGA's drive for improvement and to meet best practice.
For more information visit: http://www.tiga.org
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Tel: 0845 468 2330