Budget Benefit

Published on: 
Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmaceutical Technology, March 2024, Volume 48, Issue 3

Wider life sciences industries in the UK and Europe are receiving favourable financial support from governing bodies.

Springtime is upon us once again, as the colder weather makes way for more warmth and the dark mornings and evenings start to recede, what better time of year than this to receive positive financial tidings! For the life sciences industry in the United Kingdom, the Spring Budget, announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, on 6 March 2024 (1), is giving rise to optimism and opportunities in the coming months.

In the latest budget, Hunt revealed further support for the life sciences industry, expanding upon the investment laid out in the Autumn Statement in 2023 (2), including an additional £45 million (€53 million) in funding aimed at supporting the next generation of medical researchers and boosting medical charities’ research agendas (1). “I also want to mention our life sciences sector where we will support research by medical charities into diseases such as dementia, cancer, and epilepsy with an additional £45 million including £3 million for Cancer Research UK,” said Hunt in his speech to the Houses of Parliament about the budget (3).

Hunt also confirmed greater backing for the advanced manufacturing sector with plans for a £50 million (€59 million) Apprenticeship Growth Pilot and iterated the importance of manufacturing medicines in the UK, something that is experiencing a boost through investment from AstraZeneca (4). “… because of the government’s support for the life sciences sector, [AstraZeneca] announced plans to invest £650 million in the UK to expand their footprint on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and fund the building of a vaccine manufacturing hub in Speke in Liverpool,” Hunt added (3).


And it isn’t just the UK’s industry that is gaining financial support from governing bodies, the European Union has also specified increased spending on the Horizon Europe research programme in its 2024 budget (5,6). The level of this increase was unexpected, as there had initially been an agreement to cut the funding for the programme by €2 billion; however, European Parliament members are now promoting the position of making the research programme a priority for the bloc in 2025 (7).


1. UK Gov. Spring Budget 2024. Policy Paper, 6 March 2024.
2. UK Gov. Autumn Statement 2023. Policy Paper, 22 Nov. 2023 (updated 30 Nov. 2023).
3. UK Gov. Spring Budget 2024 Speech. Gov.uk, 6 March 2024.
4. Thomas, F. AstraZeneca Set to Boost the UK’s Life Sciences Sector with Investment Plans. PharmTech.com, Industry News, 7 March 2024.
5. European Council. EU Budget for 2024. Consilium.euopa.eu (accessed 8 March 2024).
6. Naujokaityte, G. Horizon Europe Gets a Small €85M Boost Next Year to Reach €12.9B. Science|Business, 14 Nov. 2023.
7. Magee, R. MEPs Say Horizon Europe Should be a 2025 Budget Priority. Research Professional News, 6 March 2024.

About the author

Felicity Thomas is the European/senior editor for Pharmaceutical Technology Group.

Article details

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe
Vol. 36, No. 2
February 2024
Page: 6


When referring to this article, please cite it as Thomas, F. Budget Benefit. Pharmaceutical Technology Europe 2024 36 (2) 6.