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PM boasts UK games industry is "leading the way" in Europe

UPDATE: TIGA welcomes positive comments from Brown and urges tax break commitment

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has singled the UK games industry out as one of the country's most successful sectors, saying that it is "leading the way" in Europe.

Speaking in a podcast ahead of the start of the Global Investment Conference in London yesterday, Brown acknowledged the UK games industry alongside life sciences, renewable energy and advanced engineering as an area the country is excelling in.

"We're leading the way in creative industries: by far the biggest producer of computer games in Europe," he said.

"And we're leading the way in digital communications. In a country with only one per cent of the world's population, more than a third of all internet traffic is routed through UK servers.

Speaking at the conference yesterday, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson added: "The investors here today say that the UK is the best place in Europe to do business.

"In Europe, we have the biggest industries for life sciences, financial services, creative industries and ICT. We are also the number one choice for European headquarters.

"The UK Government is committed to building on these strengths and has acted strategically to actively boost growth sectors. We want investors to grow their business from the UK, thereby creating jobs and supporting the global economic recovery."

*UPDATE: Trade association TIGA has responded to Brown's comments, welcoming his positivity while also calling for him to act quickly on the introduction of tax breaks for the UK industry.

"We warmly welcome Prime Minster Gordon Brown's comments and urge him to act quickly to introduce a Games Tax Relief as outlined by TIGA2, for the UK games development industry in the coming Budget," said TIGA CEO Richard Wilson.

"TIGA has made repeated representations to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and to HM Treasury, setting out the case for Games Tax Relief.

"We hope that the support of the Prime Minister will ensure a commitment by the Government to the introduction of Games Tax Relief and so guarantee that the UK video games industry remains world leading."

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Kath Brice