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UK Games Fund opens for fourth round, grants of up to £25,000 available

Pitch development programme announced for developers who don't meet the UKGF criteria

The UK Games Fund (UKGF) has launched its fourth round of funding, opening the doors for developers to apply for grants of up to £25,000.

The UK government's £5 million game fund has to-date supported more than 70 development studios from across the country.

Last year, creative industry in the UK generated £91.8 billion for the economy, and video games played a vital role in that growth.

In the Autumn Budget, the government pledged a further £1 million to extend the UKGF until 2020, aiding access to funding and business support for early stage video game developers.

"We want to ensure the next generation of talent has the chance to realise its creative and innovative ideas as part of the global success story that is the UK video games industry," said Margot James, minister of state for digital and creative industries.

"With a proven track record in supporting early stage games development, I hope this new round of the UK Games Fund can help nurture more blockbuster British video games."

This is welcome news for the industry following a recent TIGA report which found that access to finance was the leading obstacle to developers moving forward in 2018.

Previous recipients of the UKGF include London-based developers Roll7, the studio behind 2014's skateboarding game OlliOlli.

Simon Bennett, director at Roll7, said: "The invaluable support from the UK Games Fund was crucial in us getting to a solid prototype and passing due-diligence by making key technical hires."

New to this round of funding is the pitch development programme aimed at developers who don't meet the UKGF criteria.

The pitch development programme will support a group of teams with high potential as they develop prototype games ready to be shown off at a consumer games show later in the year. Each team will then be given the chance to pitch their prototype to a panel of industry experts, competing for a grant of up to £25,000.

At the end of the show, each team will be given the chance to pitch their proposal to a panel of industry experts. Teams will also receive a cash and in-kind package equivalent to £10,000 in value when selected to take part in the programme.

Paul Durrant, Head of the UKGF, said: "We're keen to broaden our support to help new talent in addition to well-established studios. Our new Pitch Development Programme is designed to help those potential applicants that don't meet the current criteria to still be in with a chance of joining our portfolio."

For information on how to apply, click here.

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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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