North Staffordshire’s Copper Alloys Ltd has secured a string of new contracts over the past 12 months thanks to more than £100,000 of R&D tax relief.
The substantial money saved through R&D tax relief has been directed into the development of new alloys for applications as diverse as ice cream machines and nuclear submarines.
The new work includes clients within aerospace, defence, marine and petrochemical sectors.
Established in 2000 as a continuous casting firm, the management team quickly realised Copper Alloys had to differentiate itself from the marketplace.
The business transitioned to focus on developing its technical knowledge and invested heavily in recruiting experts in metallurgy, casting technicians and machining specialists, giving them the ability to take on extremely complex projects.
Technical manager at Copper Alloys, Ivan Richardson commented: “Today, we are now seen as a leading manufacturer of copper and nickel based forged and finished machined components and have high profile clients across the world.”
Copper Alloys, which holds AS9100 and ISO 9001 quality accreditations, started to explore ways in which government funding could support its expansion in 2013.
However, after being weighed down by paperwork and failing to meet certain criteria for European funding, the company decided to take a different route and enlisted the support of Jumpstart to see if it qualified for tax relief for its R&D work.
This proved to be a wise move with the two parties quickly forging a strong working relationship and more than £100,000 has been returned to the firm over the past three years.
Richardson continued: “I wasn’t really sure what to expect when we stated to look at R&D tax relief…you hear a lot of bad tales about the amount of time it takes and not getting the best results.
He added: “It was relatively quick, easy to do and we managed to get a significant amount of money back from projects that had created a new lead-free alloy for use in an ice cream machine and a new alloy that is developed for periscopes in nuclear submarines.”
Jumpstart’s John Thomson explained: “On the surface, Copper Alloys operate in a very traditional industry, but it doesn’t take you long to realise how innovative and technologically advanced it is.
“The company undertakes lots of R&D in testing out new processes and new equipment so it was just a case of extracting the information from Ivan and then packaging it in a way that would support its claim. I’m delighted we’ve had such a good result so far and it has been fantastic to see the money ploughed back into helping the company grow to £6m.”