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Games industry to benefit from UK government's 150m Creative Industires deal

33m promised for the funding of immersive tech such as VR, 500,000 added to UK Games Fund

The UK government has announced a Creative Industries Sector Deal that will see more than £150 million invested into growing creative and cultural businesses across the nation.

This will be a joint investment between the government and the creative industires, and will include a £33 million investment into new and immersive technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, placing games firms in prime position to benefit from the extra funding.

The government has also promised an additional £500,000 to the UK Games Fund over the next two years, following the £1 million pledged in the Autumn Budget. Sadly, this is still far short of the £23.7 million recommended by the Bazalgette review last year.

Skills have been recognised as a priority, with up to £2 million promised towards an "industry-led skills package", with plans to reach out to 600,000 pupils in 2,000 schools by 2020 in order encourage more to seek a career in the creative industries.

The government also announced a £20 million Cultural Development Fund, with cities and towns expected to bid for a share in order to grow the creative industries in their area. The hope is to build on established hubs and potentially create new ones.

Other highlights include a £2m plan to extend the anti-piracy 'Get It Right' campaign, and the promise of "new action to crackdown on copyright infringement", issues that affect games firms as much as any creative venture.

Overall the Sector Deal hopes to double the UK's current share of the world's creative immersive content market, aiming for a value of £30 million by 2025.

UKIE CEO Dr Jo Twist said: "The UK games and interactive entertainment industry is a critical part of the UK's cultural and creative story and this Sector Deal is a solid foundation to build on to ensure our future growth.

"The emphasis on investing in diverse 21st century skills and careers, the focus on local cluster growth and the acknowledgment that our future cultural and economic productivity has much to gain from grasping the opportunity that emerging technologies such as AI, AR and VR offer is hugely promising."

The news follows the Mayor of London's recent announcement to pour £1.2 million into Games London, securing a further three years of activity for the London Games Festival and other events in the capital.

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