BIMA, the British Interactive Media Association, has joined forces with TIGA, the trade body for games developers and games publishers, to call for the launch of an SME Training Tax Relief scheme in the creative industries.
The organisations say this would operate in a similar manner to existing R&D tax credits and help small-to-medium-sized creative businesses finance management training and skills development.
BIMA chair of education and public policy Natalie Gross says: “The digital industry is a major growth sector for the UK economy, in particular SMEs. At the same time, there is not enough trained and skilled talent to enable these businesses to thrive and the UK economy to grow at the rates it could.
“We believe putting incentives for training into the hands of employers is the most expedient and potent way to move the UK digital economy forward, and tax relief will be a step forward in supporting the engine room of the sector, SMEs, to do so.”
In a recent interview with Design Week, Chancellor George Osborne described design and the creative industries as “a very diverse sector with diverse issues” adding “there isn’t a single instrument you can use to tackle them”.
The Chancellor pointed to existing tax credit schemes as a method of support for the industry.
Existing support for SMEs, announced at the most recent Budget earlier this year, includes the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, which helps fledgling companies raise equity by giving tax breaks to individual investors buying shares in the company.
In addition the Annual Investment Allowance means tax relief can be given on 100 per cent of expenditure on new equipment for businesses.