Dundee West SNP MSP Joe Fitzpatrick today welcomed the announcement by the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Fiona Hyslop MSP, that the Scottish Government will be funding a new Skillset Media Academy at the University of Dundee Abertay.
The University of Abertay Skillset Media Academy will specialise in computer game education, building on the University’s well-established expertise the field.
Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for Creative Media has secured the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) funding to ensure Scotland remains at the cutting edge of the highly competitive creative industries by providing first class industry-led education and training. The total package of 5.8 million pounds of funding will support two new Skillset Media Academies and the six collages in the existing Creative Loop Skillset Media Academy.
The support for the computer game industry to develop the talent needed for the next generation was welcomed by Mr Fitzpatrick who is currently gathering cross party support in the Scottish Parliament for a members debate on the UK tax regime for computer game development. UK firms must pay tax on research and development activities, while in countries such as Canada and France rebates are given and this means they have a competitive advantage.
Commenting, Joe Fitzpatrick said; “Today’s announcement is good news for Dundee’s creative industries and in particular our successful computer game developers.
“The new Academy at Abertay recognises Dundee’s importance as a centre for computer games development and will provide the skilled workforce to ensure Dundee continues to lead the field.
“Providing the training to produce the next generation of computer game developers is however only half the equation. We must ensure that we have companies for graduates to work for and there is a danger that this may not be the case as the current UK tax regime is hampering development in Dundee.
“I hope the UK Government will take notice of today’s announcement and take steps to mirror the support the Scottish Government has demonstrated for digital media services and the computer games industry. It is vitally-important that these successful new industries are supported to allow them to diversify and explore new ideas and develop new games in Scotland.”