TIGA, the trade association representing the video games industry, has today welcomed the Government’s plans for a “simpler,” more “nimble” post-Brexit system of state subsidies.
The Subsidy Control Bill introduced to Parliament on Wednesday 30 June, seizes the opportunity of leaving the EU State aid regime to create a new system for subsidies that focuses on ‘key domestic priorities.’ According to the Government, this system will be used to bolster selected industries.
In March 2021, TIGA submitted a comprehensive response to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s consultation, Subsidy control: designing a new approach for the UK.
In this response, TIGA called upon the Government to take the opportunity afforded by the establishment of a new subsidy control system to enable subsidy providers to move nimbly, address market failures and remove obstacles that inhibit the growth of our high technology industries.
Many of TIGA’s recommendations are reflected in the Government’s new subsidy regime. The key elements of the Government’s plans are:
- The new regime will be “nimble” and “free from excessive red tape.”
- Cases for support will be judged on whether they deliver good value for money and help hit targets such as levelling up and decarbonising the economy.
- There will be safeguards to ensure that devolved government departments and local authorities do not engage in bidding wars that could cause the relocation of businesses and jobs.
- The Competition & Markets Authority will be appointed as the independent adviser on subsidies and is expected to allow public authorities to deliver financial support.
TIGA has said that the new system’s scope to support specific industries is a promising sign for high technology and creative firms. TIGA has stated that, as the UK focusses on economic recovery in the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Government must support the industries which show the greatest economic potential. The video games industry, along with certain other high technology and creative sectors, provides high skilled employment, supports economic growth in clusters throughout the UK and is export focused.
Access to capital has consistently been one of the top factors holding back many games developers in the UK. TIGA has said that the Government should use the powers granted by the new system to enable the introduction of a Video Games Investment Fund. This would improve studios’ access to finance, boost investment and create approximately 1,200 highly skilled jobs by 2025.
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, CEO of TIGA said:
“It is good to see the Government has taken on board the suggestions put forward by TIGA through the Subsidy Control consultation.
“The UK needs a subsidy regime that enables subsidy providers to move expeditiously to achieve strategic objectives, provide sector specific support and act with transparency, whilst ensuring effective accountability. The Government should ensure that the UK’s new subsidy regime enables sector specific support for the UK’s most promising industries.
“Difficulty accessing capital has consistently been the top factor holding back many games developers in the UK. That is why it is essential that the Government take this opportunity to implement the Video Games Investment Fund to ensure the continued success and growth of the tech industry for years to come.”
Read more about TIGA’s response to Subsidy control: designing a new approach for the UK, here.
Notes to editors
Subsidies include: a cash payment, a loan with interest below the market rate and a loan guarantee.