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Behind a facade of innovation

While the building facade sector has had some tough questions to answer in the last couple

of years, the reputation and market share of BTS Fabrications has soared – with the help of

Chartered tax advisers, Quantify R&D. Here, Simon Briton, R&D tax specialist, explains more.

Building designers are increasingly leaving their stamp on the urban landscape by specifying unique finishes and that has led to great success for Newton Aycliffe-based company BTS Fabrications (BTS), which has a proven capacity to rise to the challenge.

The family-run firm designs and makes building facades and believes that the future depends on the flexibility of the manufacturer, working to create custom shapes and configurations for architects who want to give their work a stronger individual identity. This has led to the creation of a range of previously unseen finishes, which has caught the eye of architecture firms and contractors. 

BTS’s expertise has been a vital part of achieving the visual impact of buildings in retail, residential and commercial buildings. The difficulty involved in these projects is a source of pride to the company’s owners – brothers Phil and David Atkinson – who have firmly embraced innovation to cement their reputation as being able to deliver quality, quickly, on projects that others regard as too difficult.

In an industry that involves a lot of traditional skills, Phil is leading an ambitious modernisation drive, introducing software systems to ensure precision and minimise waste, automating tasks to increase productivity wherever possible. This drive for improvement permeates all areas of the business, which is reflected in their recently-filed patent for an innovation that has come from the shop floor.

Despite working on such large projects, the company deals in tolerances of millimetres. Working from an architect’s drawing, the team of designers at BTS create the exact measurements for the factory staff to work from. Requests are rarely straightforward. Working out how best to mount each piece onto the building’s exterior is also BTS’s job, and this is where the team really come into their own, with an improved wall mounting innovation launched this year. 

R&D tax relief has also had a significant role in helping to support this investment and at Chartered tax advisers, Quantify R&D, we have helped BTS make R&D claims for several years. I can’t wait to see where this next phase of development takes the business.

Quantify R&D’s unique software platform addresses the number one concern of HM Revenue and Customs – how is staff time allocated to projects involving innovation? Our system gives you clarity, certainty and visibility over what your claim will be.

We offer a straightforward fixed fee service for businesses that have previously made R&D claims.

For those that haven’t made claims before we offer a consultant-led model to guide you through every step of the process. For those on Xero, our software also integrates with your accounting package to make your claim even easier.

R&D tax relief – vital support for innovation in manufacturing.

Simon Briton has 20 years’ experience in advising innovative businesses on tax incentives.

Simon recently led a successful Innovate UK-backed Knowledge Transfer Partnership in the development of technology to support professional services.

This article first appeared in North East Times

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