Pandemic fails to stop rise in UK manufacturing’s R&D spend
6 Apr 2021
Research & development spending in the UK manufacturing industry rose 4.4% rise last year despite the pandemic, analysis of latest ONS data by business tax relief consultancy Catax reveals.
The industry spent a record high of £15.3 billion on R&D in 2020, up from £14.6 billion invested in 2019. The increase came despite widespread disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which had led to fears that levels of innovation could suffer.
Over the past decade, manufacturing sector R&D spending has grown 104.5%, up from £7.5 billion in 2010.
ONS Q4 statistics for R&D spending yesterday reveal however that the manufacturing sector’s performance was slightly worse than the performance of UK industry as a whole. Total R&D spending by UK businesses rose 5.09% to £38.4 billion last year.
Overall, UK GDP in 2020 was 9.8% down on an annual basis according to the ONS — its worst performance recorded since 1709.
Catax CEO of R&D tax relief consultancy Mark Tighe commented:
“Manufacturers, like all sectors, suffered major disruption last year so it’s hugely encouraging that the industry still managed to grow its R&D spend on an annual basis. This will put the sector on a strong footing as the economic recovery gains pace.”