A report from the Office for National Statistics has shown the successful increase in R&D within the construction industry. In fact, R&D activity in the industry grew by nearly a third in the last year.
Office for National Statistics figures showed £586m was spent by UK construction businesses on innovation in 2020 – up from £458m the year before, and well in excess of the £14m spent in 2010.
Following the pandemic and in response to the rising experiences of climate change, many firms have committed to improving productivity and decarbonising their businesses. Designing and implementing these changes comes with heavy R&D activity as they work to create new processes, better implement existing products, and create new products.
PwC’s construction research and development leader, Neil Muir, said the sector had focused on the development of a wide range of tools, such as offsite construction, digital twins, augmented reality, 3D printing and robotic solutions. “These, combined with an increased and renewed focus on safety, sustainability and environmental, social and governance goals are the catalysts for change within the sector,” he said.
In addition to these new focuses motivating the R&D, construction companies are also in a great position to benefit from investing in innovation. There are increased tax breaks for capital investments (announced by the government in March) and the addition of cloud computing now being eligible for tax relief in R&D credits.
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