Page last updated at 12:28 GMT, Monday, 7 December 2009

Games industry in Dundee given cash boost

Hands holding video game controller
A large number of games firms are based in Dundee

Scotland's computer games industry has been boosted by £2.5m of investment from the UK government.

The money will be used by a specialist centre at Abertay University, which will help games companies create and develop new projects.

A further £1m will be given to a linked centre at Media City UK in Manchester.

The Scottish government has also announced that Scottish-based games developers will receive almost £1m of European money.

Dundee has become the hub of the Scottish gaming industry, with a large number of firms now based in the city.

In the first three years, the co-ordinated project aims to create 30 new companies, assist 80 others, stimulate 400 new jobs and build the skills of a further 300 workers.

'Key centres'

Speaking ahead of a visit to Abertay, Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy said gaming was a multi-billion pound worldwide industry, and he hoped the funding would help UK firms exploit this potential.

Mr Murphy said: "This is a great day for the games industry and really good news for Dundee.

"Dundee has always been a city of innovation and has a well-earned reputation as the heartland of Scotland's gaming industry.

"This investment now confirms Dundee as one of the key centres in the UK as well, and will allow Abertay University to grow Scotland's international reputation for its talents in video games creation."

He added that a crucial element would be the deployment of talented students working together with small firms on prototype creation - breaking new ground in on-campus working and industry-ready graduates.

'Demand for talent'

Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop said Scottish-based games developers would be given £953,810 from the European Regional Development Fund.

She said: "Games are a Scottish success story and a vital part of our creative industries.

"This funding underlines the Scottish Government's commitment to supporting and developing the games industry in Scotland."

Dave Jones, founder of games developers Realtime Worlds, said: "Using a prototype fund to provide computing and arts students with the opportunity to get hands-on experience of real projects will help equip them better for working in our high growth industry and help feed the demand we have for talent."

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