Responding to the Autumn Statement delivered today by the Chancellor, Dr Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie said:
“We’re disappointed not to see any commitment in the Chancellor’s statement to continue investment in skills for the games industry via Creative Skillset’s Skills Investment Fund, which comes to the end of its two year funding in April. Although abolishing employers’ National Insurance on young apprentices is a positive move, we believe that targeted support is still needed for the games industry to ensure that skills supply meets the increased demand that Video Games Tax Relief is now beginning to create.
“It is positive however, that the Chancellor recognised the access to finance issues small businesses face, and has tried to relieve some of this by announcing more support for peer-to-peer lending, an extension to the Funding for Lending scheme, and expansion of the British Business Bank. An increase to the R&D tax credit, making it a 230% relief for SMEs, is also the right move.
“We are also pleased to see an exports package of £45m to help SMEs in particular. We called in our Manifesto in August for increased support to help games companies do more business overseas, and most urgently for grants to help them exhibit and attend international tradeshows to be enhanced, not cut. The autumn statement includes a proposal to “double to 60,000 the attendance at international exhibitions by SMEs [UKTI] supports”; it is absolutely vital that games businesses can access this new support to access key emerging markets, and we will be working with Government and our partners at UKTI to make sure this is the case.
“We continue to work closely with policy makers and Government on sensible measures to help games businesses thrive.”