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UK industry to receive £10m for games development support

Centres of excellence in Abertay and Manchester will receive prototype funds of £2m

Around GBP 10 million is expected to be injected into the UK games industry, with a variety of announcements around investments in Dundee and Manchester.

The two locations, which will house linked centres of excellence - one as part of the University of Abertay and the other at Media City UK - will see an initial GBP 3.5 million in funding from the UK government's Strategic Investment Fund, while complementary funding from Europe and the North West could push that up to around GBP 10 million.

The project is aiming to create 30 new companies, support around 80 others, while creating 400 jobs and boosting the skills of an additional 300 industry workers.

"This is a great day for the games industry and really good news for Dundee," said Jim Murphy, Secretary of State for Scotland, on a visit to Abertay. "Dundee has always been a city of innovation and has a well-earned reputation as the heartland of Scotland’s gaming industry.

"This investment now confirms Dundee as one of the key centres in the UK as well, and will allow Abertay University to grow Scotland’s international reputation for its talents in video games creation."

Meanwhile, Paul Durrant, director of business development at Abertay University, added: "Abertay University has been at the forefront of building real-world experience into its courses, since it led developments in this area in the mid nineties.

"We later opened that opportunity to students across the UK and internationally through Dare to be Digital, the pathway to the BAFTA Ones to Watch Award. This announcement allows us to scale up further our support to UK games developers, including our fellow members of TIGA.

"We are particularly keen to make sure that growing companies can take forward new IP without having to divert resources from core business. The link between the facilities in Dundee and Manchester is also crucial to the successful reach of this project."

TIGA also welcomed the move: "This is good news for the UK games industry," said CEO Richard Wilson. "We particularly welcome the intention to use the funding to invest in prototypes to support new IP development. Finding sources for finance for new IP is difficult at the best of times."

"This is fantastic news for the UK videogames industry and I would like to commend the government for this initiative. This investment will help support a cross section of the videogames industry in the UK," added Mike Rawlinson, director general of ELSPA.

"The UK videogames industry is one of the country's most dynamic and creative industries and a leading player in the videogames industry globally. I am sure that this investment will stimulate further innovation and skills training in the UK and help the industry maintain its current momentum."

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