NW sees second largest increase in high reward R&D spending

North West business spending on the most valuable forms of innovation has risen by the second-highest amount out of all regions of the UK.

According to analysis of new Government statistics by Ryan, the tax services and software provider, expenditure on high-reward research and development (R&D) grew in the North West by 17% from £2.6bn in 2020/21 to £3bn in 2021/22.

The data is captured by HMRC and is based on claims made for research and development (R&D) tax relief, which reward businesses for qualifying innovation.

Alongside the increase in spending, the number of tax relief claims for R&D projects made by North West businesses rose by 3% to 9,220 claims. In total, North West businesses claimed £570m in R&D tax relief, with an average claim value of £61,822.

Overall, UK-wide innovation spending that qualifies for tax relief rose 8% to £44.1bn in 2021/22. However, the number of first-time claimants has fallen for the second year running.

R&D projects carried out by UK companies introduce new products and services to the marketplace, which play a critical role in economic growth as they attract investment, boost exports and lead to the creation of more skilled jobs.

R&D tax relief was introduced in 2000 to encourage and reward innovation and results in either a reduction in a limited company’s corporation tax bill or a cash lump sum for companies seeking to resolve a scientific or technological uncertainty.

Nigel Holmes, director, research and development at Ryan, said: “North West spending on R&D has surged ahead of most of the UK, growing at a faster rate than the country’s average, and will be playing a role in driving economic growth and employment in the region.

“The increase in the number of businesses in the region making claims for R&D tax relief overall bodes well for the future too, as it will bolster the local economy and attract more inward investment.”

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