A delay in introducing tax relief for the video game sector has been described as a “setback” for the North West by Deloitte.

The Chancellor announced plans in the 2012 Budget to turn Britain into Europe’s technology centre, starting with digital content.

In his statement to the House, George Osborne stated:

“The film tax credit, protected in our spending review, helped generate over £1 billion of film production investment in the UK last year alone.

“Today I am announcing our intention to introduce similar schemes for the video games, animation and high-end TV production industries.

“Not only will this help stop premium British TV programmes like Birdsong being made abroad, it will also attract top international investors like Disney and HBO to make more of their premium shows in the UK.

“It will support our brilliant video games and animation industries too.”

However, the tax relief isn’t expected to be approved by the European Commission until later in the year.

“While it was always acknowledged that obtaining state aid approval for the video games relief might take longer, the video games industry will be disappointed to see a delay in the introduction of the relief,” said Steve Blacker, R&D tax director at Deloitte in the North West.

“The North West video games sector has been a real success story, attracting some ambitious and successful firms doing world-beating work. It is important that this relief is pushed through as soon as possible to support these businesses in their growth plans.”