(Bloomberg) -- The UK government plans to lower the threshold to qualify as a so-called angel investor in a bid to bolster funding for small- and medium-sized businesses, the Treasury said in a statement.

The changes, expected to be introduced soon, involve reinstating a lower eligibility criteria for “high net worth” or “sophisticated” investors, commonly known as angel investors. By resetting income and net asset thresholds to £100,000 and £250,000, instead of £170,000 and £430,000 respectively, the government aims to streamline investment processes and make it easier for businesses to raise capital.

Legislative changes to expand the pool of eligible investors are also expected. Recent investors in unlisted companies may soon qualify as “sophisticated” investors. The move could particularly help the funding of theatre in the UK, the statement said. 

The reforms come as as Jeremy Hunt prepares to present his budget plan on March 6. He’s facing pressure to deliver tax cuts that could provide a timely electoral boost for the struggling Conservative Party. Yet, the fragile state of the UK’s public finances presents formidable obstacles.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.