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Last month, Michael Gove unveiled the UK government’s plans for “Levelling up” after releasing their White Paper that set the precedence for spreading opportunity and prosperity across the UK.

As set out by Gove, the plan will be the most significant shift of power given to local leaders in modern times and promises to provide “London style” powers through twelve “missions” that will see government focus and a plethora of resources shared with Britain’s forgotten communities.

Innovation has been front and centre of the government’s plans since releasing its strategy back in July last year to incentivise and boost experimental, with its vision for the UK to become a global hub for innovation. Yet, unsurprisingly, one of the missions outlined is to see domestic and public R&D investment outside the Greater South East increase, allowing companies with innovative strategies to recover 40% more R&D tax credit by 2030. Find out how much more R&D tax credits this means for you using our R&D tax calculator.

Boris Johnson, PM, has said, “From day one, the defining mission of this government has been to level up this country, to break the link between geography and destiny so that no matter where you live, you have access to the same opportunities.

“The challenges we face have been embedded over generations and cannot be dug out overnight, but this White Paper is the next crucial step.

“It is a vision for the future that will see public spending on R&D increased in every part of the country; transport connectivity improving; faster broadband in every community; life expectancies rising; violent crime falling; schools improving; and private sector investment being unleashed.

“It is the most comprehensive, ambitious plan of its kind that this country has ever seen and it will ensure that the government continues to rise to the challenge and deliver for the people of the UK.”

In the White Paper, the government has said that the Department of Business, Energy, and Strategy (BEIS) will pledge a minimum of 55% of their domestic R&D funding outside the Greater South East by 2024/2025. Commitments have also increased the DHSC, MOD, DfT, and Defra public investment. Emphasis has been placed on putting the UK ahead competitively in the science and technology fields with a new economic model that will see 20 billion pounds invested from 2024 to 2025 with a target of 2.4% GDP by 2027. In addition, the government aims to accelerate UK innovation with private-public-academic partnerships to replicate the Standford-Silicon Valley and MIT-Greater Boston models to share research excellence and its adoption in similar industries. Pilots are expected to take place in Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and Glasgow City-Region to power the fourth industrial revolution and leverage the government’s global scientific research. It is refreshing to see a short/medium terminus to the target that makes the commitment actionable and the effects of the commitment to be felt instantly by businesses and communities across the UK.

In the White Paper, Gove states “We must support high-growth businesses and reverse the historic decline in manufacturing in the UK with more of the sort of innovation which characterises economies such as South Korea and Israel. The new British volt gigafactory in Blyth, the investment by GE to establish a new wind turbine blade manufacturing centre at Teesworks in Redcar, the renewed commitment by Nissan and Envision to manufacture electric vehicles in Sunderland, and the new hydrogen buses being built in Ballymena, which are already on the streets of Aberdeen, are all examples of green manufacturing innovation bringing high-skill and high-wage jobs to areas which have faced economic headwinds in the past.”

To find out more about the other missions or to learn more about the R&D changes that will be happening over the next eight years, click here to read the “Levelling Up” whitepaper.

References:

Government unveils levelling up plan that will transform UK. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-unveils-levelling-up-plan-that-will-transform-uk

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