Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 53 seconds
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced several measures to support the UK’s tech sector in the 2023 Autumn Statement, including new investment zones, simplified R&D tax credits and additional AI computing resources.
The government has announced a five-year £4.5 billion investment plan for large-scale funding to attract investment to strategic manufacturing sectors, including green energy, aerospace, life sciences, and zero-emission vehicles.
The package, available from 2025 and running for five years, is part of a wider approach to advanced manufacturing, and includes:
Key to the UK creating a world-leading AI ecosystem is access to computing, which powers the development of AI models.
The government has committed a further £500 million over the next two years to fund AI innovation centres, bringing the total planned investment in computing to more than £1.5 billion.
These investments will allow researchers and SMEs to develop new foundation models and maximise the UK’s potential in AI.
Launched in the Spring Budget 2023, the Investment Zones Programme has been extended from five years to ten.
This extension will double the envelope of funding and tax reliefs available in each Investment Zone from £80 million to £160 million to provide greater certainty to investors. The government is also extending the duration of the tax reliefs available in Freeports from five to ten years to maximise the programme’s impact.
New investment zones announced:
The chancellor announced a merging of the two existing UK R&D tax relief schemes (SME & Research and Development Expenditure (RDEC)).
Full expenditure on grant-funded projects will be fully eligible for R&D tax relief under the new combined scheme, which will take effect in April 2024.
The new scheme will also see increased support for “R&D intensive SMEs”, including:
If you want to understand what grant funding your project could be eligible for, how to build grants into your innovation or financial plan, or ensure a stable cash flow to your already funded project – get in touch.