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    Press Release: London dominates in R&D tax credits claim value while Mid Ulster tops the UK ‘Innovation Intensity League Table’

    Newly released HMRC figures show London-based companies once again securing a major share of R&D (research and development) tax relief with over £2.3bn paid out in 2019-20.

    Other strong performing areas include the West Midlands, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, and Surrey where businesses collectively secured almost £1.3bn in tax relief for innovation-focused investment. Other regions securing significant R&D rebates include Greater Manchester, Hertfordshire, and Hampshire. (See FIGURE 1 below).

    Businesses in Mid Ulster, however, have claimed the top spot in R&D tax claims intensity in the UK according to this year’s UK Innovation Intensity League Table, published by innovation funding specialists ABGI-UK.

    It shows the leading 20 unitary authority areas (see FIGURE 2 below) which are ranked on the percentage of local businesses making a successful claim for R&D tax relief.

    Mid Ulster (which was 3rd two years ago) tops the table with a total of 400 successful claims made by local SMEs and large businesses, representing 6.1% of all enterprises within its unitary authority area. Cambridgeshire placed second in this year’s table (up from 4th) with 5% of its businesses securing a successful claim. Nottingham placed 3rd in the table (up from 7th two years ago) with 4.8%.

    Commenting on the rankings, Scott Henderson, Chief Executive at ABGI-UK said:

    “As our Innovation League Table shows, there are many parts of the UK where companies are heavily investing in research and development activities. As our top three areas of Mid Ulster, Cambridgeshire, and Nottingham demonstrate, there is a lot of innovation going on outside the M25 corridor.

    “Companies within key sectors including manufacturing, engineering, and IT/software are mainly behind this strong regional placement in our league table. By securing R&D tax relief for their innovation investment, a significant proportion of companies are benefitting by enhancing competitiveness. More of this investment activity will be critical in kick-starting the UK economy as we emerge from the recent public health crisis.”

    See The Tables

    FIGURE 1

    Top 20 UK areas in the total amount of R&D tax relief claimed 2019-20 (£m)

    1 Inner London 1,980 11 Northamptonshire  120
    2 West Midlands  375 12 Essex  120
    3 Cambridgeshire  365 13 Warwickshire  110
    4 Outer London  340 14 Kent  100
    5 Oxfordshire  280 15 City of Edinburgh  90
    6 Surrey  275 16 West Sussex  85
    7 Greater Manchester  245 17 Tyne and Wear  80
    8 Hertfordshire  220 18 Merseyside  70
    9 Hampshire  195 19 Reading  65
    10 West Yorkshire  150 20 Lancashire  60


    *Figures in £ million, rounded to nearest £5m

    FIGURE 2

    The UK R&D Claim Intensity league table

    Top 20 unitary authority areas by ‘R&D Claim Intensity’ – the number of claims in relation to the overall number of businesses in the area for 2019/20**

    1 Mid Ulster 6.1% 11 City of Edinburgh 4.3%
    2 Cambridgeshire 5.0% 12 Tyne and Wear 4.2%
    3 Nottingham 4.8% 13 Herefordshire 4.2%
    4 Aberdeen City 4.7% 14 Warwickshire 4.1%
    5 Halton 4.7% 15 Bridgend 4.1%
    6 Belfast 4.6% 16 Kingston upon Hull 4.0%
    7 Flintshire 4.6% 17 Inner London 3.9%
    8 Wrexham 4.6% 18 Oxfordshire 3.9%
    9 Blackburn with Darwen 4.5% 19 Cardiff 3.7%
    10 Lisburn and Castlereagh 4.4% 20 Staffordshire 3.7%


    ** Figures are based on the most recent (2019-20) R&D tax relief claim statistics produced by HMRC in relation to the number of enterprises in each UK unitary authority area, based on UK Government statistics:

    The numbers of claims made are rounded to the nearest £5m, in line with HMRC statistics.

    About ABGI

    ABGI UK is part of the ABGI Group, sharing a heritage going back over 30 years. ABGI Group secures over £1bn in tax credits and grants funding every year for many of the world’s best-known brands including Hermes, one of the UK’s largest parcel delivery firms, automotive giant Fiat, and global digital industrial company General Electric.

    Operating throughout the entire value chain of innovation, ABGI Group is dedicated to helping clients accelerate innovation and business expansion around the world from our regional headquarters in the United Kingdom, France, Brazil, Canada, and the United States.

    Established in the UK 15 years ago, with offices in London, Cambridge, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Belfast, and Edinburgh, ABGI UK is an innovation funding specialist, combining an international perspective with local experience and expertise for the benefit of UK-based clients.

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