In late October the UK Chancellor announced that there would be £17 million of new life sciences funding to help create benefits for the NHS and patients. Looking at the Budget which was published on 22 November 2017, there are some interesting announcements bringing potential benefits for the life sciences industry.
The Government’s consultation, Patient Capital Review, which was launched a year ago by Philip Hammond, is now complete. The full government response to the consultation can be viewed here. Its aim was to increase access to finance and long-term investment for innovative companies which is reflected in the Budget, which includes a £20 billion package of “patient capital” which will support investment to companies over the next 10 years.
Some of the further key announcements in the Budget are less targeted at life sciences specifically, but will impact businesses in this sector, including:
- Tax relief changes – for example founding shareholders will be able to keep their relief on certain capital gains.
- New investments – a £2.5 billion fund will be established in the British Business Bank to invest in innovative companies and this will be a co-investment fund with private finance. Further, a series of funds will be established with £500 million of public money invested through the British Business Bank and then a further two similar investments over the next 10 years, facilitating up to £4 billion of financing in total. The fund will become a leading investor in “patient” investment across the UK.
The Budget also included an additional £2.8 billion for the NHS to aim to improve performance and ensure more patients receive the care they need more quickly.