BUSINESSES are being urged to explore whether they are eligible for tax relief following a successful claim by a family-run firm in York.

MLC York, a civil and construction engineering firm in the city, has received £58,000 in research and development (R&D) tax credits across two claims, thanks to the innovation demonstrated in its work.

The credits are part of government efforts to reward companies for investing in innovation, with the incentive being a reduction in corporation tax or a cash payment.

Founded in 1968, MLC York has a team with complex structural building experience, including industrial and commercial property design and build projects.

The business actively works on around three major projects per year, some of which span multiple years. MLC designs, develops, constructs, and then handles any subsequent issues.

One project involving research and development activity went towards two R&D claims which involved MLC York changing a food supplements warehouse into a pharmaceutical production facility.

Challenges included developing a new production line within an active workplace and creating and installing unique systems that would enable staff to work safely and prevent the pharmaceuticals from being compromised due to humidity levels in the factory.

MLC York's work at Power Health in Pocklington improved existing production flows and processes.

The client also wanted to achieve two accreditations meaning MLC had to undertake considerable feasibility studies and further development to arrive at a functioning facility.

MLC managing director Steve Hargreaves and his daughter Emma Hargreaves, financial director, were put in touch with R&D tax specialists Access2Funding by one of its partners, manufacturing specialist Brian Sainsbury.

Emma said: “Brian really gave us the confidence to go ahead with an R&D claim. His optimism and knowledge shone through and really made us feel like making a claim was worthwhile which it was.

“As a result of the claims we have been able to offset the money received against our corporation tax bills, which has gone a long way in supporting cashflow. We are very thankful that there is less money leaving the business, enabling us to undertake more R&D.”

Ben Murdoch, R&D client account manager for Yorkshire at Access2Funding, said: “MLC York is a fine example of a civil engineering company not realising how innovative their sector is.

"HMRC R&D statistics published in September show UK civil engineering firms are missing out on an average of £67,000, with the construction sector making up just seven per cent of all R&D tax credit claims for 2019/20."

"There is a huge benefit to claiming R&D tax credits, and although the number of construction claims is increasing year-on-year, I encourage those in the civil engineering industry who are not claiming to look into their eligibility for this government tax relief scheme.

"We’ve been able to ensure MLC York continues to grow and innovate. It was fantastic working on their claims, and I hope more construction businesses follow suit.”