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Exchequer secretary visits Cambridge to meet local entrepreneurs

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

David Gauke visited medical company Horizon Discovery which has benefitted from government schemes backing business.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, has met with members of the venture capital and angel investor community at an event in Cambridge.

While there, he discussed the various government schemes established to support entrepreneurs and start ups such as the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS).

With the economy experiencing strong growth, the Exchequer Secretary was keen to hear from active investors and find out how the reliefs have incentivised them to invest in start ups.

On his visit to Cambridge, the Exchequer Secretary also visited Horizon Discovery, a gene-editing and personalised medicine company headquartered in Cambridge but exporting around the world.

Benefitting from SEIS, EIS, research and development tax credits, Technology Strategy Board grants and the Patent Box amongst others, Horizon has created over 120 jobs since its inception and in March 2014 listed on the AIM market for £68.6million, making them the most successful life science float in the Cambridge cluster’s history.

The Exchequer Secretary’s visit comes as Horizon announce that they, together with LGC – an international life sciences measurement and testing company – have been offered a research grant by the Technology Strategy Board.

David Gauke said:

The government’s long term economic plan is to back business, by improving access to finance and providing support to new and growing businesses, which are the lifeblood of our economy.

The policies we have put in place – such as the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, Enterprise Investment Scheme, Venture Capital Trusts, R&D tax credits and the Patent Box – will support businesses from the very early stages of getting funding, through to their growth and development.

It’s been a good opportunity to meet with those actively helping small businesses to get off the ground, and to hear how the government’s tax reliefs have incentivised this, as well as hearing how our reliefs have allowed businesses to grow, achieve and exceed their goals.

Since it was established in 2012, over 140 East of England registered companies have benefited from the SEIS scheme, raising over £11million in funding to help their company get off the ground.

Overall, SEIS has now helped more than 2,000 companies, raising over £175million.