Today we've welcomed the Government’s decision to protect the £4.7bn science budget in real terms as announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review.
This announcement signifies the Government’s recognition of the important role medical research plays in boosting the UK economy and helping to improve and save the lives of patients.
The last UK Government committed to protecting the science budget in cash terms until April 2016. However, the current Government’s decision on the future of funding for the UK science base had remained unclear until today.
What does this mean for heart research?
Professor Peter Weissberg, our Medical Director, said: “We are delighted that the Government has recognised the benefits of research to the nation’s health and wealth by increasing its commitment to UK science. While some of the details need to be clarified long-term, stable investment will ensure that UK research continues to thrive, attracting talent and inward investment, driving productivity, and transforming the lives of people affected by devastating conditions, such as heart disease.
“Government investment will support us in our own ambition to fund half a billion pounds of life saving research over the next five years, by ensuring that the UK remains a world-class place to conduct research and translate scientific breakthroughs into benefits for patients.”
Medical research charities are a leading funder of life sciences research in the UK and have funded research that has improved patient care worldwide. We fund around £100 million of crucial heart research every year representing more than half of funding for cardiovascular research at UK hospitals and universities.
However, the Government provides funding for the indirect costs of research, including the day-to-day running costs of research facilities. This investment is crucial as it ensures that the donations research charities receive from the public are used to support scientists searching for life saving treatments.
We have been campaigning for the Government to increase its investment in the science budget. Around 1,500 people have written to their MPs calling for the current funding in the science budget to be maintained and it's thanks to your support that we can celebrate this achievement today.