Hull & East Yorkshire firms drive innovation as R&D spend hits £50m

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 14 May 2019

Hull & East Yorkshire businesses spent more than £50m on research and development in a year.

The region’s firms spent a total of £55m in the 2016/17 financial year, according to new figures released by HMRC.

Figures also showed East Yorkshire companies made a total of 270 claims for R&D tax credits in the period – designed to encourage greater spending on innovation.

Across Yorkshire, business commitment to R&D rose significantly.

Richard Wilson, of tax firm RSM, said: “Compared to the data released this time last year, the latest figures show another healthy rise in the numbers of applications for R&D tax credits.

“It’s pleasing to see that Yorkshire-based businesses have seen a higher overall level of support for their R&D activity.

“While this is very encouraging, there are some sectors – construction in particular – where the numbers of claims are negligible, despite the likelihood that many are involved in R&D activity.

Manufacturing businesses made the most claims for R&D support (PA)

“The fact is there could be many more businesses across the Yorkshire and Humber that are undertaking R&D work but are missing out on the R&D tax credit payments to which they are entitled.”

The East Riding came above Hull in 2016/17 for R&D spending.

A total of £30m was spent by the region’s businesses during that year - £5m than in Hull.

Read more: The Hull businesses which make the most money - and how much they earn

The number of claims made by East Riding firms was also higher than in Hull, at 165 compared to 105.

In total, businesses across Yorkshire submitted 2,625 R&D claims in 2016-17, claiming some £125m in tax relief.

Compared to the data reported for the previous year published in February 2018, it marked a 50 per cent rise in the number of claims and a 25 per cent rise in the amounts claimed in R&D tax credits.

What RB's £105m new centre in Hull will look like

The largest number of claims across the region came from manufacturing companies (925) which collectively claimed £45m, followed by information and communications firms (465) which claimed £25m.

Professional, scientific and technical businesses (400) claimed £25m.

R&D tax credits are a tax relief designed to encourage greater R&D spending, leading in turn to greater investment in innovation.

Read more: RB to unveil new £105m Hull research centre 'by end of June'

They work by either reducing a company’s liability to corporation tax or providing a cash injection for companies without a tax liability.

In Hull, health giant RB is set to unveil its new £105m R&D centre in the coming months.

It represents the single biggest investment in the company’s history, and a significant commitment to research.

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