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Newly released HMRC figures show Inner London companies once again securing a major share of R&D (research and development) tax relief with £825m paid out in 2016-17. Other strong performing areas include the West Midlands, Cambridgeshire and Outer London where businesses collectively secured £560m in tax relief for innovation-focused investment.  Other regions securing significant R&D rebates include Oxfordshire, Essex, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, Edinburgh and the UK oil capital, Aberdeen.

Businesses in Mid-Ulster, however, have claimed the top spot in R&D tax claims intensity in the UK according to a new table published today. The UK Innovation Intensity League Table, published by Jumpstart UK, shows the 20 most successful business communities by unitary authority area. The table ranks areas based on number of claims related to the number of businesses in the area.

Mid-Ulster tops the table with a total of 215 successful R&D tax relief claims made by companies in the area, including SMEs and large businesses. This represents 3.49% of all enterprises within its unitary authority area.  Belfast placed second in the table with 2.92% of its businesses securing a successful claim. Cambridgeshire was third (2.9%) while Aberdeen City ranked fourth (2.63%).

Commenting on the rankings, Scott Henderson, Managing Director at Jumpstart UK said: “It’s not surprising that companies based in Inner London have claimed the most R&D tax relief. However, a different picture appears when you compare the number of claims in relation to overall number of businesses in the area. That provides a more accurate view of which regions are the most innovative. Mid-Ulster, along with Belfast and Blackburn claim three of the top 5 spots, alongside more familiar innovation hot-spots such as Cambridge and Aberdeen. A relatively high percentage of innovation-focused local companies within key sectors such as manufacturing, engineering and IT/software drive strong regional placement.

“In Northern Ireland and many other UK regions 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. The generous UK Government scheme continues to support companies in achieving these aims with over £24bn in tax relief claimed in the latest 2016-17 period.”

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