Tiga: Govt â??narrow-mindedâ?? with creative industry funds

Tiga: Govt â??narrow-mindedâ?? with creative industry funds

By Rob Crossley

May 11th 2009 at 5:19PM

Music sector to get over half of the £50m funds earmarked for the creative industries, no plans yet set for the games business

Tiga CEO Richard Wilson has told Develop that Westminster is once again taking “narrow-minded” measures, following reports of new funding initiatives for the creative industries.

According to trade publication Music Week*, the Department for Work and Pensions will soon be using over half of its £50 million war chest to invest in the music industry.

The whole cash fund was set up to support the entire board of creative industries, yet the Department for Work and Pensions, currently headed by former Culture Secretary James Purnell, has already earmarked some £26 million of this for the music industry alone.

The cash injection is expected to create jobs for unemployed UK residents, with initial aims to create 200 work placements in the festivals business. Investment in other music sectors is set to follow.

“Once again the government is being narrow-minded, to put it mildly,” said Wilson. The Tiga chief was pleased that the government is being proactive in helping curb rising levels of unemployment, though feels that Westminster has missed a trick in overlooking a vibrant and lucrative part of the British economy.

“I find it worrying that the government continues to refuse to back the games industry,” he says. “It is today one of the most lucrative and successful sectors in the UK.”

He did add that the new deal may make more sense in terms of logistics: “There is a chance that the investment here is to get people out of work into – one presumes – initially low-level work in the music industry. Of course, the games industry’s skill needs are typically higher than in the music business.”

But he said that the government’s position on the games industry continues to disappoint. “We should be building on the success of the games industry, not reinforcing failure,” he said.

 

*Music Week article no longer available at tme of writing. Alternative source here.