Budget 2017: The Digital & Tech Sector

This year’s Budget is being hailed the ‘Budget for Millennials’ with a focus on the UK economy being fit for the future. The investment in the future of the Digital and Tech sector is  very encouraging, some key highlights include:

  • The Government want the UK to be a leader in new technologies such as AI, FinTech and immersive tech – the North East is strong in these areas.
  • Large amounts of central funding focused on technology and knowledge intensive sectors – additional £2.3bn to be added to direct R&D spending from 2021/22 taking total spend to £12.5bn per annum by 2021/22
  • Tech City UK to expand and become Tech Nation to support regional tech start ups across the UK. £21m of funding over 4 years, we have a regional hub in Newcastle
  • Further £1m to extend UK Games Fund to 2020, which will benefit early stage video games developers
  • The increase in R&D Expenditure Credit rate to 12% from January 18 will benefit large innovative companies and certain SMEs
  • Investment to upskill 8,000 computer science teachers and funding for retraining (with a focus on digital skills).We are well aware of the shortage of skills for our tech businesses so this is good news!
  • The changes in EIS and VCT rules to increase their focus on knowledge intensive industries will make more capital available for high growth businesses in the sector