TIGA, the network for video games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry, has commented on the Government’s commitments in the recent Spending Round.
TIGA welcomes the Government’s pledge to increase levels of research and development (R&D) spending, increases in funding for schools and further education, and an increase in the budget for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Announcements from the Government, which are of interest to the video games industry, are as follows:
- Government commits to increase levels of research and development – The Government has committed to increasing the level of research and development (R&D) spending to at least 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. The Government aims in the autumn to set out plans to boost public R&D funding and accelerate its ambition to reach 2.4 per cent of GDP.
- £7.1 billion increase to school spending – The Chancellor has announced a £7.1 billion increase to school spending. This includes £700 million to support children and young people with special educational needs next year and £400 million for increase in further education spending from next year. The Government has stated that it will use part of this funding to continue to implement the Schools National Funding Formula. The Government has pledged that per pupil funding will increase to £4,000 and £5,000 per pupil by 2021 / 22 for primary and secondary school pupils respectively.
- £400 million increase to further education – The Government has announced as part of its increase in schools funding that it will be making a £400 million investment in Further Education in 2020 / 21. £190 million will increase core funding for 16 – 19 year olds and £210 million will be used to target interventions at high cost programmes like English and Maths resits, T Levels, the Advanced Maths Premium and workforce investments.
- 4.1 per cent increase in the budget for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – Funding commitments from the Government include over £500 million for Arts Council England and Sport England to drive participation in cultural and sporting activities, £300 million to support the UK’s museums and galleries and £50 million for UK Sport to support team GB and Paralympics GB in Tokyo 2020.
In response to the Spending Round, Dr Richard Wilson OBE, CEO of TIGA said:
“TIGA welcomes the commitments to increasing the level of R&D expenditure made by the Government in the Spending Round. It is critically important that the UK remains a world leader in R&D. It is essential we have the funding streams to secure our place as a leader in the tech industries.
“TIGA has previously called for FE colleges to be adequately funded in order to provide more education and training opportunities and to enable the UK to address skill shortages. Therefore, TIGA welcomes the Government’s commitments to spending on further education.
“Looking ahead, the Government could consider further measures to ensure that our industry achieves its potential. Video Games Tax Relief could be strengthened by raising the level of relief from 25 per cent to 27.5 per cent or 30 per cent to encourage further investment. TIGA would like to see the Government introduce a Video Games Investment Fund (VGIF) to enhance studios’ access to finance. It could provide between £75,000 and £500,000 to developers nationwide, promoting the development of original IP and encourage studio growth.”