Key talks held ahead of skills review publication

Industry meets Vaizey to discuss R&D tax

Culture minister Ed Vaizey is today holding meetings with numerous games firms and VC groups to discuss issues surrounding game development funds and R&D tax credits.

Vaizey said in a statement that the meetings were to discuss “the challenges and opportunities for the games industry in accessing finance”.

It was not said that ministers or civil servants from the Treasury had attended the event.

The likes of UKIE, Tiga, Revolution Software, Ubisoft Reflections and Playfish were said to be at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Also present was investment group Ingenious Media and London Venture Partners – the latter being co-founded by ex Sony WWS boss Phil Harrison.

“At the centre of these discussions is the review that I’ve asked Cliona Kirby to undertake, which will look independently at how the games industry is effected by existing tax rules and if any changes could be made to improve access,” Vaizey said.

“We also talked about some of the excellent responses from the industry to the Government’s Growth Review; making sure that games is at the core of our thinking about how the creative industries can play a key role in our economic recovery.”

The meeting comes weeks before the release of the highly anticipated Livingstone Hope review on skills – a document which Sony UK MD Ray Maguire said would expose a “massive skills gap” in the UK today.

The coalition government last year pulled plans in place to introduce game tax breaks in the UK. The Conservatives and Lib Dems had campaigned on introducing the measure.

Labour has failed to clarify its position on games tax breaks after several requests made by Develop.

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