South West firms could be missing out on vital R&D funding

Research & Development in the South West

Research and Development tax credit consultancy firm ForrestBrown, based in Bristol, says South West firms are lagging behind other regions in accessing funding.

Speaking after the government published its annual statistics on R&D tax credit uptake, Jenny Tragner, director at ForrestBrown and member of HMRC’s R&D consultative committee, said: “The amount claimed by companies in the South West has not changed much since last year (up 4%), however the number of SMEs claiming has increased by 19%.

“This means the average benefit received by SMEs in the South West has reduced from £54,421 in 2014-15 to £45,714 this year – significantly below £61,514, the national average.

“It’s brilliant news that more SMEs in the South West are seeing the benefit of R&D tax credit funding. But we’re worried that those SMEs might not be maximising their benefit. Today’s figures suggest that overall awareness has increased amongst SMEs but there is still work to do to reduce complexity.”