Most companies in Britain’s £50 billion chemical and pharmaceutical industry say that they are committed to increased investment in research in the next twelve months.

A survey by the Chemical Industries Association shows a confident picture for the rest of 2015 and beyond, and that means healthy levels of R & D.

Nearly 60% of companies expect sales and export growth, while almost 50% will increase capital expenditure and grow employment numbers.

Steve Elliott, Chief Executive of the Association, paid tribute to the level of research and development investment.

He said: “R&D investment is key to UK growth and the fact that 98% of companies will maintain or grow their R&D commitment is a sign of confidence these companies – the majority of which are foreign headquartered – have in the UK.”

 The survey also looked at opportunities and threats with companies seeking to expand their global market access and at the same time as being concerned by what happens to the sterling exchange rate, the European economy and energy & raw material prices.

Steve said: ““We are at the centre of a global market and it is vital that the UK continues to attract chemical and pharmaceutical investment. In particular companies are worried about escalating energy and raw material costs. The Government must tackle this challenge urgently to allow the strong performance of our sector and its contribution to the UK to continue.”