About UK Games Fund

Find out more about the UK Games Fund

Who we are

UK Games Talent and Finance CIC is a community interest company that has been established to help develop the UK games development sector, particularly at the early stage. We are not for profit and do not have share capital.

Our aim is to boost the UK’s games business and talent ecosystem. We want our funding to create jobs, promote diverse new teams, enhance skills and increase the amount of new games IPs in the UK. In short, we’re working to support the UK’s early-stage games development community.

What we do

We run both Tranzfuser and the UK Games Fund, supporting the whole spectrum of start up games developers; from talented graduates to more experienced SMEs.

Why are doing this?

We’ve learned from previous projects that we can have a positive impact by providing this type of support. The logic behind our approach is that by increasing the volume of creative teams and talent that have real-world experience in developing their own titles under their belt, the greater the chance of one of those teams and titles becoming a significant success.

The breakthrough may not come from the original project we support, but every project has positive learning impacts that are taken through into business and or personal career development.

We also think that it’s important for the UK games development sector to have its own funding delivery body, to capitalise on any opportunities that emerge in the future. We’re not a trade body or membership organisation. We are highly supportive of all of the work of Ukie and Tiga and are working with them closely on funding for indie games development.

Applications to UKGF from across the UK

The Team

UKGF is run by an experienced team of games industry and investment experts.
The team has worked together for almost 20 years on various projects, all of which have been focused on the investment in and the support of the start-up games development industry.

Paul Durrant OBE

Founder and Chief Executive
Paul is a creative business development specialist with a focus on creating win/win impacts arising from public and private sector collaborations in the digital economy. He’s worked extensively across the skills, talent and research agendas and at the interface of universities and business and contributed to policy and best practice. Paul's projects have helped thousands of individuals and hundreds of small studios across the UK indy games sector and the impacts from subsequent acquisitions and other business development has led to the generation of hundreds of millions of pounds of inward investment for the UK. Paul was awarded an OBE for services to the games industry and to education in the 2022 New Year Honours.

Paul is also interested in food-chain and related environmental matters and he is a trustee of the Bread for Good Community Benefit Society.

Mark Hogarth

Director
Mark has spent over twenty years in venture capital with a particular focus on working with high growth technology companies. He has been involved in hundreds of transactions ranging from seed investments and follow-on rounds through to IPO and exits.

Mark has served as a non-executive director for several technology companies, has been on the board of two companies quoted on AIM and is currently a Partner at Techstart Ventures.

Jenny Duncan

Head of Operations
Jenny has worked on a number of projects at Abertay University including Dare to be Digital, BAFTA Young Game Designers and the UK Video Games Prototype Fund. She was involved in all aspects of the projects including allocation of grants, marketing, promotion, organisation and event delivery, building on her previous experience in loyalty programmes for high end retail and leisure companies.

Deborah Farley

Head of Foundership Development
Deborah has led on the co-creation of Tranzfuser, the UK-wide talent programme designed to support budding graduate entrepreneurs aiming to set up their own studio and make their mark on the UK’s video game industry. Deborah's breadth of experience of running Tranzfuser now sees her focus on the creation and development of a framework for the UKGTF Foundership Network.

As Head of Foundership Development, the role will see Deborah tapping into the UKGTF founder community to inform the creation of a self-assessment tool, developing a methodology that will identify core competencies, skills and traits required for leading enterprises and teams to grow at the highest level.

Stephen Hewitt

Prototype Fund Portfolio Manager
Stephen has worked for over twenty years as a professional game developer. Coming from a multimedia background in coding and art, he has gone on to hold lead roles in game design, creative direction, scriptwriting and worldbuilding, and has been heavily involved in Production. He has worked in both AAA and Indie game development, has produced games for PC, consoles, and phones, and worked across a variety of genres from MMOG to casual. Along the way, he has freelanced, founded businesses, and worked for a variety of start-ups and established companies.

Colin Macdonald

Content Fund Portfolio Manager
Colin entered the games industry in 1990 producing dozens of games including licences of Lemmings and Prince of Persia, and the early games of the multi-billion dollar Grand Theft Auto franchise. He was a Co-Founder and Studio Manager of Realtime Worlds, where he helped raise up to $100m in investment and oversaw the BAFTA-winning game Crackdown. In his role as Channel 4 Television’s Games Commissioner he commissioned dozens of games, which amassed millions of downloads and won BAFTA, Digital Emmy, Broadcast Digital and BIMA awards. He now runs Games Jobs Live, advises Rivet Games, facial animation specialists Speech Graphics' and Johnston Carmichael's Tech Advisory Board, hosts the Games Talks Live industry events, and publishes the monthly Games Opportunities newsletter for developers looking for funding/development opportunities.

Colin Anderson

Sector CEO in Residence
Colin is a 30-year veteran of the videogames industry who has worked on over 100 commercial releases across both the “triple-A” and “indie” scenes. His credits include international hit franchises such as Crackdown, Lemmings, and Grand Theft Auto, as well as innovative BAFTA-award winning indie games such as Autonauts, Denki Blocks and Quarrel. During his career he has worked with several of the most successful videogame businesses in the world, such as Rockstar Games and Epic Games, as well as founding and scaling two of his own independent videogame businesses from startups to over $1M annual turnover. Colin served for a decade as a director of the UK’s trade association for independent Game Developers (TIGA) and currently advises the Scottish Government on creative industries policy as part of its Creative Industries Leadership Group. Over the years he has served as a judge for numerous industry awards including the BAFTA, IGF, and DEVELOP interactive awards, as well as advising Abertay University on the syllabus structures for its ground-breaking undergraduate and masters degree videogame programs.

Kirsty Gibson

Head of Impact
Starting out on the career path with a degree in foreign languages, Kirsty’s expertise in communication has diversified into project management and marketing. In 2011 she joined the UK Video Games Prototype Fund as Project Manager; her role focused on the development of the Prototype Fund community and relationship management, developing and maintaining proactive and responsive communication channels with applicants and key stakeholders.

Tilda Watson

Talent Programme Administrator
Tilda is a representative and co-coordinator of the Tranzfuser program for 2024 and beyond. She is an integral part of the delivery team, providing administrative support, liaising with university hubs, and contributing to social media.

With a background in Fine Art & Philosophy, Tilda is a multimedia installation artist who graduated in 2022 and has since exhibited at institutions such as the Royal Scottish Academy, obtaining several awards for her artwork. Specialising in contemporary art, Tilda has a range of exhibition experience including supporting the curation and installation of large scale shows within Scotland.
Tilda also has experience in learning development and working with individuals who face everyday barriers to inclusion.

She is dedicated to sharing her understanding of equality, diversity, and inclusion by supporting creative opportunities.

Bartosz Jung

Programme Administrator
As Programme Administrator, Bartosz is responsible for the administration of the creative output across the UK Games Fund and Tranzfuser projects, liaising with colleagues in the creation of community-driven output.

Bartosz graduated from Abertay university in 2022 with a Batchelor's Degree in Games Design and Production. His Honours research work focused on responsiveness in video games and its’ implementation. Outside of his research, he also ran a livestreaming society and coordinated multiple in person and online events, creating all promotional and in-event assets needed.

In his support role, Bartosz adds value across the community in positive engagement and expert knowledge of the games sector.