SNP Chair leads Scottish Affairs Committee to take evidence from creative industries in Dundee

The Scottish Affairs Select Committee Committee is to take evidence from broadcasters and representatives of the computer games industry in Dundee this coming Monday, 19th October 2015. THis will  be its first session looking at the creative industries in Scotland.

The SNP’s Chair of the Committee, Pete Wishart MP for Perth and North Perthshire, says: ‘I am delighted that our second Committee visit in Scotland will be in Dundee, one of the country’s most important cities for the Scottish computer games industry and also the first UK city to be designated a UNESCO City of Design.

‘There is a rich history of computer game development in Dundee and throughout Scotland. Titles with global reach, such as Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto are worked on by software developers right here. We wanted to understand how the UK Government can best support these innovators in remaining at the forefront of such a competitive, global industry.

‘We will also be speaking to major broadcasters – the BBC, C4 and STV – who are so essential to the independent production sector. We will examine how much regional productions reflect life in Scotland and how much they make use of the skilled and talented workforce available in this country.

‘While we are in Dundee, we will be holding a public evidence session at Abertay University where witnesses will include representatives from Scottish Games Network, TIGA, BBC, Channel 4 and STV.

‘In a first for a House of Commons Select Committee taking evidence away from Westminster, we will be live streaming the session on Youtube.[Ed: links for this are given below.]

‘I would encourage anyone with an interest in creative media, or the political process itself, to come along or watch online’

The Committee will be taking evidence from:

At 1.30pm

  • Brian Baglow, Director, Scottish Games Network
  • Dr Jo Twist, CEO, Ukie

Professor Gregor White, Head of School of Arts, Media and Computer Games, Abertay University

At 2.10pm

  • Chris van der Kuyl, Director, 4J Studios

At 2.40pm

  • Ken MacQuarrie, Director, BBC Scotland
  • Ian MacKenzie, Nations and Regions Manager, Channel 4
  • Alan Clements, Director of Content, and Bobby Hain, Director of Channels, STV

The Committee will be piloting live streaming its evidence session, so a webcast of the session should be available online as it proceeds. A link to the webcast will be available on the Select Committee’s website here, on the day of the session.

In addition to the formal evidence session, the Committee will be holding informal meetings looking at the Dundee Waterfront Project, the V&A Dundee and Dundee City Council’s work supporting local creative enterprises.

Further details of the Committee’s inquiry into the creative industries and other work—including how you can contribute—are available on the Committee’s website as below:

This will be an interesting visit for all concerned. As Mr Wishart, the Chair of this Select Committee says, Dundee is a serious player in the games industry and the astute University of Abertay was the first in the UK to offer a degree course in Computer Games.

This will also be a timely visit, with the recent announcement that the new V&A in Dundee is to honour Kintyre’s hugely talented Moira Gemmill, its former Director of Design who died in Apil this year,2015 – in a random road accident in London while cycling to her new job at St James. She had become Director of Capital Programmes at the Royal Collection Trust only in February.

Moira Gemmill had lobbied hard and successfully to have the V&A’s first regional museum built in Dundee; and a gallery there will now be named for her.

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