A Cheltenham-based building contractor Love2Build has successfully claimed more than £38,000 in R&D tax credits, which its directors described as a “much-welcome sum of money following a rough last year”.
Established in 2015, the business was not aware it was eligible for R&D tax credits until it spoke to Access2Funding.
Daniel Duncombe-Davis, Director of Love2Build, said: “The terminology ‘research and development’ can make people think their business is not eligible but what I’ve learnt from Access2Funding is that as builders, a large proportion of what we do every day is R&D. We’re always thinking on our feet, trying to find solutions to problems. If there’s something that’s not going to work on the plan and you are altering it with your own design input, then that could be R&D.”
Love2Build is planning reinvest in their business following the Covid-19 lockdown, including paying back government-backed loans, purchasing new tools and rebranding the company with a new logo and website.
Many of Love2Build’s portfolio of projects involved some form of R&D. One of the highlights was extensive work done on a farm that involved the business creating a technological advancement in the way builders can provide structural support when removing walls, whilst allowing as much area as possible around the work to still be useable. Love2Build produced specific custom-made fabrications so the product would work and used trial and error to achieve the result. Another example of innovation was when they created a modern extension with a roof terrace whilst allowing the aged aesthetic of the rest of the cottage to remain undisturbed, achieving this by researching and testing different materials to find the best solution.
By its very nature, the construction industry poses many opportunities to innovate, as challenges crop up in projects and businesses must adapt and overcome to achieve a solution. Yet so many qualifying projects are being undervalued as day-to-day business when they could be put forward as part of an R&D tax credits claim.
The latest HMRC statistics show that the construction sector is lagging behind some other sectors when it comes to claiming R&D tax relief, accounting for just four per cent of all claims across the scheme, despite being one of the key sectors that innovate regularly.