Budget 2011: VCTs and EIS Announcements Drive Critical Growth for British Enterprise

23 March 2011 – Announcements to enhance Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) is good news for British Business, which has been starved of incentives and investment in post recession Britain, says Foresight Group (“Foresight”), a leading alternative asset manager.

Chancellor George Osborne has announced that under new rules, EIS income tax relief will rise from 20% to 30% next month, while the annual EIS investment limit for investors will be increased to £1 million and increase the qualifying company limits to 250 employees and gross assets of £15 million for VCTs and EIS.  The Chancellor has also raised the amount the schemes can invest in one company by 400% to £10 million for both investment vehicles, in order to boost investment in smaller businesses.  Mike Currie, Partner at Foresight comments:

“We are delighted that the Chancellor recognises the role that VCTs and EISs have to play in delivering increased economic growth and employment. Changing the rules to expand the range of companies that VCTs can invest in is a welcome boost to the sector and businesses desperately seeking finance.”

Separately, the Government also announced that it plans to place “feed-in tariff businesses” into the excluded activities list from April 2012.
Mike Currie adds:

“The introduction of feed-in tariffs created a huge interest amongst investment firms wanting to offer its investors a lower-risk investment with Government guaranteed income streams within a reliable tax incentive package. There is now a limited time for investors to take advantage of this sector to secure excellent return on investment. Foresight has six dedicated solar investment specialists with over 20 years combined solar investing experience, and over £150 million solar assets under management“.”

Foresight Group has a substantial pipeline of investment opportunities in sub 50kW solar assets and as a result of this and investor demand, launched a £20 million Solar EIS earlier this month on top of its £40 million Solar VCT to satisfy investor appetite and demand.  This EIS now benefits from the increased tax breaks and investment flexibility introduced in today’s Budget.

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Media Enquires:

Louise Barnett: 01892 769952 / 07713 742685  / louise@intelligentprofile.com
Emma Cantrill: 01892 769958 / 07788 757377 / emma@intelligentprofile.com
Louise Farley, Foresight Group: 01732 471 855 / lfarley@foresightgroup.eu

Notes to Editors:

About Foresight Group
Foresight Group is a leading sustainable asset manager, based in Sevenoaks, Kent.  Foresight manages in excess of £300 million across a number of funds, including Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs).  The company has recently secured £35 million from The London Green Fund for waste investment and is seeking to raise a total of £200 million to invest in recycling and renewable energy projects in the capital.