January 30, 2017
Ukie says that Theresa May’s Industrial Strategy “reflects the asks that Ukie has been lobbying on … for some time”.
Ukie says that, in her Green Paper, the Prime Minister rightly identifies the rise and potential of “new sectors”, technical skills investment, international trade and investment, local support and the potential for new local institutions to deliver that support, infrastructure, and access to finance support for young businesses.
Importantly, Ukie says, the Creative Industries have been recognised as one of the key sectors singled out in the strategy. “This is great news for us because the creative industries generate £84bn to the UK economy and games and software development contribute £37 billion of that. But we are innovation led too”.
In Ukie’s view, this is a “real opportunity to shape further support for the UK games sector to celebrate and grow its cultural and economic impact, especially as there will also be a review of arms-length bodies – including cultural institutions – and how funding and support flows at a local level”.
This is why Ukie is playing an active part in the next stage of what this means in a tangible sense via the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, as well as through its continued engagement with the Government.
Ukie’s five 2015 Blueprint for Growth recommendations called for UK and EU funding to recognise the contribution and modern nature of games, ensuring effective support alongside other creative industries for content that might be risky.
Ukie called for ways to promote games-as-culture and celebrate cutting-edge British innovation. It also called for support for regional growth, foreign direct investment and exports across the UK as well as the right infrastructure investment to enable (especially) young companies to scale up.
Ukie invested in the UK Games Map in order for local policy makers and international investors to see patterns of growth and clusters around the country. This will continue to be industry-owned and used to see where and how public intervention at local levels can make a difference economically for an area.
Ukie’s third area of focus was around growing, attracting, and retaining the best talent for the economy and the games sector.
Ukie says that there are some specific challenges to be faced with Brexit looming, and the industry must ensure that it presses the Government for the right immigration system that works for everyone. The industry must also ensure that educators are equipped with the skills and tools they need to teach STEM creatively to attract a diversity of young people into the sector.
The Prime Minister’s Industrial Strategy is “much needed for us to keep focussed on what can be done nationally whilst negotiations take place around Brexit and our international relationships. But there is more work to be done”, Ukie says.
There is plenty more to come too, it says, as there will be consultation and action plans based in evidence to come out of the ten-pillar Strategy. To read Ukie’s press release in full, click here.