R&D spending in construction sector rose 7.9% last year, despite the pandemic

Rising expenditure

Construction sector R&D spending hit £368m last year, according to latest ONS data

R&D spending in the construction sector defied expectations with an 8% rise last year despite the pandemic, analysis of latest ONS data by business tax relief consultancy Catax shows.

The industry spent £368m on R&D in 2020, a rise of 7.9% from the £341m 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.

It also represents a record high. Over the past decade, R&D spending in the construction sector has grown 257.3%, up from £103m in 2010.

The ONS published its Q4 statistics for R&D spending yesterday (Wed) providing a full year picture for different industries.

The construction sector’s performance was significantly better than the performance of UK industry as a whole. Total R&D spending by UK businesses rose 5.09% to £38.4bn last year.

UK GDP in 2020 was 9.8% down on an annual basis according to the ONS2 — the worst performance since 1709.

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