Yorkshire Building Firm Recovers Through Innovation

A North Yorkshire-based building preservation firm has been able to stabilise and recover following a difficult couple of years after their innovative projects qualified for research and development (R&D) tax credits.

Danford Brewer & Ives, established in 2008, received £20,000 from its two most recent claims for innovation found in projects involving old properties that required solutions using specialised knowledge.

Specialising in damp proofing, timber treatment and structural waterproofing across Ripon, York, Leeds and Middlesbrough, the company received the cash payment from HMRC across two R&D claims, secured by the firm’s advisers R&D tax specialists Access2Funding, who identified all aspects of the business’s recent projects that qualified for research and development tax relief.

David Ingham, Managing Director at Danford Brewer & Ives, is also Vice Chair of North Yorkshire Construction Training Group and a Construction Ambassador for CITB, and has been a local employer for more than 25 years.

He said: “Building preservation naturally involves old properties, and therefore creating new products, adapting existing products and redesigning solutions as and when unforeseen things come up during projects. An example of an innovative project was when we provided solutions for the UK government’s Green Homes initiative. This involved trialling and merging existing technologies to affordably covert old buildings into more heat efficient buildings, along with creating our own new integrated systems.

“Combining our specialist knowledge in damp proofing and waterproofing, we interlinked five technologies affordably. Overall, our team developed a new process and synergised restoration technology, which enabled us to conduct highly advanced heat-loss savings at a low cost, supporting the government’s green initiative.”

David liaised with Owen Harvey and Rachel Hughes at Access2Funding to uncover R&D in the business, after being introduced to R&D tax credits at a construction event in North Yorkshire.

He said: “Having someone like Access2Funding advising us and taking the time to visit us and work through our records face to face (and virtually during Covid-19) is great. As director of a small company, with no management background, it is difficult finding spare time to do things like this as I am still very much hands-on.

“The money received is much-appreciated and will go towards stabilising the business and assisting with recovery from the last couple of years, enabling us to get back on an even keel. I continue to recommend Access2Funding through the CITB group.”

Owen Harvey, client account manager for Yorkshire at Access2Funding, said: “From researching and developing new ways of doing things to improving existing products and services, innovation within construction is plentiful, yet the construction sector historically is less likely to claim R&D tax relief than other comparable industries. This could be because businesses are unaware of R&D tax credits and view innovation as part of their every day, when in fact, the government wants to reward businesses for investing in innovation. Or, as we hear from some businesses, they just don’t have the time to do all the paperwork.

“It was a pleasure assisting Danford Brewer & Ives with their claims and helping them identify qualifying activities during what has been a challenging couple of years for their business, along with many others. If you think you may qualify for R&D tax credits, it’s worth speaking with a specialist to discuss your eligibility.” 

Research and development (R&D) tax credits are a government incentive designed to reward UK companies for investing in innovation, with the incentive being a reduction in corporation tax or a cash payment.

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