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British Games Institute lays out Finance, Culture and Skills programmes

BGI needs 8 million a year for its plans, rising to as much as 12 million after three years

The British Games Institute has laid out a plan to tackle issues around Culture, Finance and Skills, which will require at least 8 million a year in funding.

Prominent figures within the UK games industry were calling for the formation of a British Games Institute back in January, and the BGI has now released a detailed proposal for how it will operate. The new charitable organisation will have three key goals:

  • To encourage the development of the art, science and technology of video games across the UK.
  • To research and promote video games' impact on and reflection of British culture, and protect national video game collections that represent the 40-year heritage of British-made games.
  • To gather and disseminate the UK's artistic and technical expertise in games production and distribution, to increase the productivity of British games studios and up-skill its workforce.

The BGI will "act as the government's lead agency on video games", partnering with the DCMS, the National Videogame Foundation, UKIE and TIGA. The programmes outlined in the document have been designed to "fill strategic gaps" between the activities of other arts and sciences bodies. The BGI may choose to offer funding to the programmes of other bodies, in addition to managing its own.

For the first three years, the BGI will require 8 million in funding, rising to between 10 million and 12 million after that period. The initial 8 million a year should come from the DCMS, and the BGI hopes to secure a further 2 million to 4 million per year from the National Lottery. Additional money will also come from its own fundraising operation, and any commercial proceeds from funded games projects.

The BGI's programmes will address three main areas: Finance, which will receive 5 million in funding for between 35 and 40 projects each year; Culture, with 1.5 million set aside for research, promoting diversity and the British Games Festival, among many other concerns; and Skills, which will have a 300,000 programme designed to promote the acquisition and sharing of skills between developers.

The startup process is expected to take six months, and it will require seed funding from the DCMS. The BGI will ultimately have a team of 14, with salaries and overheads totalling 800,000 per year.

For more information, you can find the full document here.

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