News / Blackburn with Darwen companies lead the way in North West R&D tax relief claims

An Innovation League Table produced by R&D tax relief specialist Jumpstart puts Blackburn with Darwen at the top. Blackburn with Darwen is leading the way as the county with the highest percentage of innovative businesses across the North West of England’s 10 unitary authority areas.

A total of 120 successful claims were made by Blackburn with Darwen companies (2.48% of all enterprises within the area), including SMEs and large businesses, for R&D tax relief in the latest 2016-17 figures released today by HMRC. 

Initial HMRC statistics from last September showed a 640% increase in the amount of R&D tax relief savings being claimed by companies in the North West over the last seven years. The figures show Manufacturing, Information & Communication and Professional, Scientific & Technical sectors in the region accounting for the majority of claims.

The North West League Table shows Cheshire East as the second most active area with 1.79% of businesses securing successful R&D tax relief claims and Lancashire ranked third with 1.71% of businesses claiming. Greater Manchester sits mid-table with 1.58% claiming while Cumbria is at the foot of the table with only 0.75% of businesses securing a successful claim.

Commenting on the figures, Russel McGrath, Business Development Manager for Jumpstart in the North West region said:

“Today’s HMRC figures form the basis of our Innovation League Table. It shows Blackburn with Darwen leading the way in making successful R&D tax relief claims in the North West. Although it is a small unitary authority area there is a relatively high percentage of local companies in key sectors such as manufacturing and professional science driving its strong regional placement. Significant numbers of local businesses have been successful in securing R&D tax relief for their investment in innovation to improve operational processes and enhance competitiveness. The generous reliefs offered by the UK Government continue to support businesses in achieving these aims.”

Introduced in 2000, R&D tax credits are designed to drive competitiveness in British business by incentivising companies to invest in innovation.  Since its inception, Jumpstart has helped its clients recover over £140m in R&D tax relief and has identified over £665m in eligible R&D expenditure.


R&D Tax relief claims by North West county area *

Blackburn with Darwen               2.48%

Cheshire East                            1.79%

Lancashire                                1.71%

Halton                                       1.60%

Greater Manchester                   1.58%

Cheshire West and Chester        1.42%

Merseyside                               1.16%

Warrington                                0.98%

Cumbria                                    0.93%

Blackpool                                 0.84%

*The above figures are based on the most recent (2016-17) R&D tax relief claim statistics produced by HMRC in relation to the number of enterprises in each unitary authority area, based on UK Government statistics:

Numbers of claims made are rounded to the nearest 5, in line with HMRC statistics.


Blackburn with Darwen companies lead the way in  North West R&D tax relief claims