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UKIE responds to Government's growth review

Tax relief proposals supplemented as new financial support measures suggested

UK trade body UKIE has delivered a formal response to the British government's growth review, setting out an agenda to allow greater access to finance and more protection for intellectual properties.

Although UKIE still supports the concept of videogames production tax relief it appears to have accepted that this will not happen in the short term. Instead the organisation set out a number of other ways in which the UK government could support small and medium-sized videogames businesses.

Among the suggestions was amending rules regarding venture capital trusts and enterprise investment schemes to allow project-based, rather than portfolio, investment. UKIE also suggested a supply-side audit of banks to gauge where any bottlenecks may be in lending to the industry.

The organisation also called for support for prototyping to help products become more commercially viable; as well as the introduction of a royalty box to support innovation and research and development; and modifications of the research and development tax credit scheme.

Finally, the government was urged to introduce measure to reduce intellectual property infringement, particularly online. UKIE's suggestions included a crackdown on unlawful file sharing and the sale of pirated goods and mod chips.

"We welcome the government's growth review and its specific focus on the digital and creative industries," said UKIE director general Michael Rawlinson.

"For the UK's videogames and interactive entertainment industry to continue thrive all parts of it need to be successful," he added. "The practical measures we have outlined, particularly around access to finance, demonstrate UKIE's commitment to supporting the entire interactive entertainment industry – whatever the size of the businesses involved and whether they be developers, emerging start-ups or publishers."

"UKIE looks forward to working hard with Government to ensure the UK's video games industry thrives and plays its part in rebalancing the economy," he concluded.

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David Jenkins