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Sadiq Khan aims to attract £30m for developers with new Games London investment

UPDATE: City mayor pledges £1.2m for London Games Festival organisers, ensuring three more years of events

UPDATE: Games London has confirmed the Mayor Sadiq Khan has invested a further £1.2 million into the organisation's efforts to grow the industry within the city.

The funding ensures a further three years of events from Games London, including the London Games Festival. This is expected to generate more than £35 million for games firms in the capital, as well as 270 full-time jobs.

ORIGINAL STORY (23/3/2018): In the Culture for All Londoners report released earlier today, city mayor Sadiq Khan pledged to further fund Games London in order to deliver £30 million of new investment.

The mayor will invest an unspecified amount into the organisers of the Games Finance Market and the London Games Festival in the hopes of attracting more funding for games firms within the capital.

He has also committed to support a creative production and export program for the capital's £42 billion creative industry.

In a global games industry worth over £100 billion per annum, with an estimated 2.2 billion people playing games around the world, the UK is the fifth largest games market in terms of consumer revenue.

In 2017, UK game sales generated a record £3.35 billion - increasing 9.6% on the year prior - equalling more than the combined sales of home music and video.

London is home to more game companies than anywhere else in the UK. As such, the mayor has reaffirmed his support for the London Games Festival announcing that he wants to attract more investment into esports and encourage more live gaming events in the capital.

"London has the finance, talent, networks and geographical location to be a centre for the games industry but will need to compete internationally with countries like South Korea, which have a longer history in games development," reads the draft culture strategy.

The report also honed in on issues of diversity; the Mayor's Digital Talent Scheme is investing £7 million to help furnish 18 to 24-year-olds - particularly young women and those from disadvantaged or minority backgrounds - with the relevant skills for a job in digital, creative, and technological occupations. In fact, the report specifically calls out London's need for more female programmers.

"As mayor, I want to ensure as many people as possible take part in cultural activities, and have access to creative jobs," said Khan. "With a quarter of London's children living in poverty, for too many young Londoners the city's cultural treasures are out of reach and getting a career in the creative industries is unimaginable.

"We are working to change that because I want London to be a city where more young people have the opportunity to Mayor's foreword pursue a career in the creative industries."

So far the mayor has contributed £300,000 toward three projects focused on digital skills that support the visual arts, marketing, and games industries.

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Ivy Taylor: Ivy joined in 2017 having previously worked as a regional journalist, and a political campaigns manager before that. They are also one of the UK's foremost Sonic the Hedgehog apologists.
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