UKIE drops £30,000 into digital industries fund

By Brenna Hillier
21 July 2011 01:31 GMT

The association for UK Interactive Entertainment has launched a £100,000 fund to promote digital industries, with support from TIGA and the Department of Culture Media & Sport.

GamesIndustry reports ESTA, eskills, The Frame Store, and Blitz Games are also all on board the initiative, which aims to promote, raise awareness of, and improve digital industries in the UK.

UKIE raised the initial seed amount from industry members, mainly big publishers, and expects to hit the £100,000 point over the next 18 months.

“We’re serious about this, we’re not going to fund it on our own, but let’s get it done and worry about money afterwards. We can’t hang around here, the clock is ticking,” UKIE CEO Andy Payne said at Develop yesterday.

Payne said the scheme is a response to the shelving of expected tax breaks for the interactive industries.

“As an industry we’ve been let down by our politicians. That’s a big blow for the British games industry and something we need to get back somehow,” he said.

“We need to join up, we need to make sure that we’ve got a concerted strategy in order for politicians to understand what we do. We’ve got to be a bit smarter so the key thing is coalition.”

Payne said UKIE intends to start with games industry associations and then broaden the scope to include other digital industries like visual effects.

“I would appeal to all the members of UKIE and all the members of TIGA to at least be part of this so we can put more names on the sheet. If we can replicate that in different industries then we will have something that they will have to take notice of,” he said.

Sadly, not everyone who should be involved has been keen.

“The key department that hasn’t been engaged, and is doing a bloody good job of trying to be disengaged, is the Department of Education,” Payne admitted.

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