TIGA has delivered its Budget 2021 submission to the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
TIGA has called for the Government to introduce a Video Games Investment Fund (VGIF), which would provide smaller developers with the finance to grow, expand and scale up their businesses. A VGIF would make grants or loans of between £75,000 and £500,000 available to games businesses on a matched funding basis throughout the UK.
TIGA have also called for Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) to be retained and improved. TIGA research shows that an increase in the rate of relief from 25 per cent to 32 per cent would help support significant growth in the UK games industry, increasing employment, innovation and investment and enabling it to compete on a more level playing field with overseas competitors.
Following the UK’s departure from the EU, it is important to ensure that funding and support for the video games industry is maintained and strengthened in the upcoming Budget.
Since TIGA’s Budget submission, the Government has confirmed it is ‘looking closely’ at the proposal for a VGIF. Furthermore, in response to a recent parliamentary question, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury also referenced a 2017 government study which showed the positive effects of VGTR on the UK video games industry:
‘Research showed that VGTR enabled developers to be more productive by giving them more stability and lowering their level of risk, enabling them to survive longer and look beyond immediate financial concerns to focus on expanding their business or improving their offer. The evaluation found concrete examples of inward investment, and indications that VGTR had stemmed the drain of UK talent to countries such as France and Canada.’
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, CEO of TIGA said:
“The UK video games industry is one of the sectors that the UK Government should aim to promote over the coming months and years. It is a high skills, high technology and export focused industry. Our sector has the potential to support employment and growth throughout the UK, with clusters of games development from Brighton to Dundee and approximately 80 per cent of the workforce based outside of London.
“Difficulty accessing capital has consistently been one of the top factors holding back many games developers in the UK. This is why, ahead of the March 2021 Budget, TIGA has called for the Government to consider introducing a Video Games Investment Fund to support the long-term growth of the video games industry. This initiative, alongside our proposal to enhance Video Games Tax Relief, would allow the continued growth, expansion and success of one of the UK’s most important creative industries.”