Home\ News\ Round 8 News: Interview with Paul Durrant

With the opening of applications to the eighth round of funding from the UK Games Fund just weeks away, Founder and CEO Paul Durrant shares his thoughts as to what those interested in applying should be aware of. 

  • What will Round 8 look like?

We’ve designed Round 8 to incorporate the learning from our pitch development processes. We’ve tested that over the past few years and found it’s a really useful way to enable us to provide support and work with small studios, including solo developers with ambitions to grow.

Successful applicants can expect to be awarded a grant of £6,000. Funding will be provided in three £2k tranches, usually over three months and it is aimed at supporting the development of a concept and associated funding proposal.

  • What type of companies will be successful in an application?

Round 8 is very specifically designed to help early stage start up games dev companies registered at the time of application. The idea is to provide companies with a certain degree of “breathing space” to allow for further focus on the pitch for possible future funding from the UK Games Fund and beyond.

We know from past iterations of varying levels of industry support that small injections of financial support can be just as helpful to those companies that are completely new to us or have previously been unsuccessful in an application as larger funding support can be.

  • When can I apply?

Next month.

We hope to accelerate the application and selection process to run as efficiently as possible and award funding to companies as soon as possible after that. We know from very recent experience that demand for our programmes always far exceeds what we can offer, both in volume and quality of applications. That’s why for Round 8 we’re stressing the eligibility criteria as essential reading prior to application; we cannot accept applications from past funded companies, studios that genuinely do not have a need for grant and solo developers not planning to grow to the point of hiring PAYE funded staff.

More information about the criteria for funding in Round  8 will be shared soon.

  • How do I apply and what is the selection process?

We’ll reveal more information about the selection process for Round 8 in due course, but as ever our application process will involve a time-limited online form. There’ll be gateway questions to check eligibility. Also, like many other funding programmes, we’re also planning to introduce a quota for application numbers after which the round will close, so it will certainly pay to be ready to submit and get in early.

  • Why have you taken this approach?

Given that our primary remit is to boost the early-stage independent games ecosystem we’ve always found it difficult to support very small development teams that have yet to demonstrate growth potential. In our pilots we’ve found that a small amount of support can be transformational for some companies and we’re keen to continue experimentation with this type of funding.

  • What are the key differences this time around?

Demand for our last main round was overwhelming and we know there will be a knock-on effect to Round 8. We don’t want to raise hopes of funding in vain and that’s why we’ll be running the process in quick-fire style.

  • If we get the initial grant what are the chances of us progressing to a full UK Games Fund grant when we complete the project?

This is down to our own funding situation and the best way to keep up to date with that is to sign up to our newsletter. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees – but we’ve always done our best to continue to support companies taking the pitch development route and have found that those who join our community of portfolio companies fare well in the long run, whatever the outcome.

More information about the application process for Round 8 will be shared soon. Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates straight to your inbox.