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UK Games Industry Could Get Government Aid After All

| 21 Feb 2011 18:14
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Government officials are apparently meeting with representatives from the UK's various creative industries to discuss potential financial backing.

Things are looking up for the UK games industry, as it looks like it might be getting the tax relief it's been campaigning for over the last few years. Sources suggest that UK Chancellor George Osborne will announce a tax relief scheme worth £30 million either as part of the new budget on March 23rd, or sometime near then.

According to a "connected individual," Osborne has recently held talks with several important figures from the media and entertainment industries in the UK, an act that the source described as "not customary." Michael Rawlinson, director general of the UK trade organization UKIE - formally known as ELSPA - said that this was a sign that the UK government was planning to support the country's creative industries, of which the games industry was an important part. Rawlinson wasn't sure whether the government would introduce the scheme as part of the budget itself, but was confident that it would show its support for the sector.

The rumored total falls far short of the £100 million that TIGA, the other trade organization that represents the games industry in the UK, had proposed however. TIGA's appeal claimed that the investment would create 1,300 new jobs in development positions, as well as 2,500 "indirect" jobs. TIGA also warned that failing to invest in the sector would result in the loss of almost the same number of jobs. Given that the two outcomes are essentially polar opposites of each other, it's really not clear what a reduced level of investment would mean.

Source: Develop

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