Oxfordshire leads the way as the county with the highest percentage of innovative businesses across the South East of England’s 19 unitary authority areas.
A total of 885 successful claims were made by Oxfordshire companies (2.67% of all enterprises within the area), including SMEs and large businesses, for R&D tax relief in the latest 2017-18 figures released by HMRC.
This puts Oxfordshire at the top of an Innovation League Table produced by innovation funding specialists ABGI UK. It shows the percentage of businesses making successful R&D tax claims in each of the region’s unitary authority areas.
The latest updated HMRC figures show that South East companies secured a total of 7,440 R&D tax relief claims in the 2017-18 period. A total of £810 million in tax relief was claimed on the back of over £6.1 billion worth of innovation-focused investment made by companies in the region.
The South East of England League Table shows Wokingham as the second most active area with 2.62% of businesses securing successful R&D tax relief claims while Reading ranked third with 2.16% of businesses claiming. Windsor and Maidenhead is at the foot of the table with only 0.75% of businesses securing a successful claim.
Commenting on the new figures, Chris Barker, innovation funding adviser at ABGI UK, said: “Today’s HMRC figures form the basis of our Innovation League Table. It shows Oxfordshire leading the way in making successful R&D tax relief claims in the South East of England. A relatively high percentage of local companies in key sectors such as life sciences and IT/software are driving its strong regional placement. Significant numbers of local businesses have been successful in securing R&D tax relief for their investment in innovation to improve operational processes and enhance competitiveness.
“At a time when the Covid-19 pandemic is having such a detrimental impact on the UK economy, investment in innovation, with support in the form of R&D tax relief credits and other government incentive measures will be more essential than ever.”
Introduced in 2000, R&D tax credits are designed to drive competitiveness in British business by incentivising companies to invest in innovation.