A Cheltenham construction firm has received more than £38,000 in research and development (R&D) tax credits after identifying innovation within its building projects.

Love2Build, established in 2015, prides itself on providing high-quality, fine finish construction work, and described the windfall as a “much-welcome sum of money following a rough last year”.

Previously unaware that their work was eligible for the government incentives, after contacting R&D tax specialists Access2Funding, Love2Build began to uncover hidden finance within qualifying projects.

The firm has taken on a series of innovative projects in recent years. These have included 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.

Love2Build now has a large sum available to reinvest into their business. Plans with the money include paying back government-backed loans, purchasing new tools and rebranding their company with a new logo and website.

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.

“The whole experience was fantastic, and after just four weeks I received the payment.  Ultimately, I now have money available to my business that I never knew I even had access to. It’s almost too good to be true!”

R&D tax credits are a HMRC incentive, designed to encourage UK businesses to continue to grow by innovating. A limited company can receive a reduction in its corporation tax bill or a cash payment.

If a business is seeking to resolve a scientific or technological uncertainty within its projects by creating new processes, products or services (or amending existing ones) then they could be performing R&D without realising it.

Dawn Coker, Chief Executive Officer at Access2Funding, said: “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.

“It was wonderful to hear Daniel’s overwhelming feedback and we are so pleased that the cash he received will be used to help his business grow following what has been such a difficult time for so many businesses.”

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 4% of all claims across the scheme, despite being one of the key sectors that innovate regularly.