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Last Updated: Monday, 19 November 2007, 11:32 GMT
Software firms set for jobs boost
Computer keyboard and mouse
The study pointed to rapid growth in the last seven years
An estimated 2,000 jobs will be created in Tayside's thriving computer software industry over the next three years, experts have predicted.

A study by Interactive Tayside found that the sector had nearly doubled in size in the last seven years.

The area's 350 software and computer animation companies now have a combined annual turnover of 185m.

They also employ 3,400 people, but Interactive Tayside said it expected this to rise to more than 5,000.

Dundee has become one of the major centres for computer games development in the UK, with the number of software firms based in the city and surrounding towns more than doubling since 2000.

The Interactive Tayside report found that companies operating in the sector were generally optimistic about the future, with most saying they expected to increase their turnover by between 10% and 50% in the next year - well above the UK average.

Our staff love the cost of living, the proximity to the great outdoors, and the low traffic and pollution problems
Colin Macdonald
Realtime Worlds

Joyce Matthew, manager of the digital media team at Scottish Enterprise Tayside, said the main reasons for the growth were the number of ambitious companies willing to bring on new talent and the willingness of different organisations to work together to nurture the industry's development.

Colin Macdonald, studio director of Realtime Worlds, which has been involved in developing some of the most popular computer games in recent years, said: "We are proud to be based in Dundee - our staff love the cost of living, the proximity to the great outdoors, and the low traffic and pollution problems.

"Dundee's one of the main hubs for computer games in the whole of the UK, so we benefit from working with many of the other local developers and have great relations with the local universities - particularly Abertay's games courses in our case.

"Scottish Enterprise and the local council fully appreciate what the digital media industries are doing for the city and actively help and encourage them.''

Abertay University launched the world's first computer games degree course more than 10 years ago.

The university's Principal and Vice Chancellor, Professor Bernard King, said: "The key to continuing success is proper investment, without which we could easily lose the industrial development and industry accomplishments to competitors in emerging markets.''

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