Think Global, Create Local - the regional economic impact of the UK games industry

Think Global, Create Local - the regional economic impact of the UK games industry

Think Global, Create Local is new analysis of the employment and economic impact of the UK games industry across the towns, cities, regions and devolved nations of the UK. It provides new benchmark figures for the number of full-time equivalent jobs (FTEs) and contibution to gross value added (GVA) generated by games companies throughout the country, the impacts of companies of different sizes and comparisions against other sectors.

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About this report

The report builds on the findings from the BFI's 'Screen Business' report, released in Ocotber 2018, which showed that the UK games companies directly employed 16,140 FTE roles and collectively generated £2.87bn in GVA.

By applying HM Treasury 'Green Book' principles and best practice economic modelling, 'Screen Business' is the single most authoritative economic analysis of the UK games sector to date. Think Global, Create Local uses the same methodologies to futher explore the same underlying data, ensuring robust results at the highest possible standards. As this means no underlying data could therefore be updated, all results in this report relate to the year 2016 and represent a snapshot in time for our sector. It should also be understood that since 2016, the UK games industry has continued to thrive, and that this report reflects that benchmark from which future growth can be reliably tracked.

Key Findings  

  • Eight games hubs contributed over £60m in GVA to their local economies: Edinburgh, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Leamington Spa, Crawley and Horsham, Manchester, Guildford, Slough and Heathrow, and London.
  • 55% of game development roles are based outside of London and the South East.
  • The North West, East of England, West Midlands, Scotland and the South East all employ over 1,000 FTEs in development studio roles.
  • London's game sector is a billion pound industry, generating £1.4bn in GVA for the economy and directly employing over 5,100 FTE roles
  • 23 towns and cities across the UK are home to more than 20 local game companies.
  • Scotland is home to a thriving games industry, with three major hubs generating £131m in GVA for the nation.
  • The North East games industry has the biggest impact on the local economy outside of London, contibuting £1.90 of every £1,000 of regional GVA.
  • 99.5% of UK games companies are officially SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises, employing less than 250 people), which collectively contribute £1.6bn in GVA.
  • £339m in GVA is generated by micro-businesses of less than 10 employees, representing 13.7% of the industry total, and employing 3,664 FTEs.
  • The very largest games companies, each employing over 250 people, are hugely important to the UK economy, alone contributing £840m in GVA and employing over 4,200 FTEs, or 26% of the industry workforce.

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Download the full report here