A garden room manufacturer in Stafford has received £168,000 in R&D tax relief from the Government after developing a way to create maintenance-free outdoor buildings, reveals innovation funding specialist Catax (a Ryan company).
Garden buildings have become increasingly popular in the UK as people look to maximise their outdoor space and create home offices, gyms and bars.
Traditionally, garden buildings have been built using timber but these require extensive maintenance – including staining, painting and repair – and can be draughty and leaky. This is not ideal as the buildings can cost tens of thousands of pounds.
UK Garden Buildings wanted to develop and manufacture a method for creating outdoor rooms that would not require maintenance by the owner and could come with a 25-year guarantee — a timeframe that goes well beyond industry standards.
The company used composite cladding, which does not require as much maintenance as timber, to construct its buildings.
However, to make a 25-year guarantee possible, UK Garden Buildings needed to ensure all seals and joining sections between the composite panels were above existing standards so they do not allow water to seep into the building.
This meant they had to develop a trim and join that is part of the integral structure and does not just cover where two panels meet. As the buildings would be built in people’s gardens, the joins also had to be aesthetically pleasing.
The material underwent extensive testing and moulding with specially-designed tools in order to deliver the waterproofing required for the lengthy guarantee.
UK Garden Buildings’ R&D activities resulted in £168,552 in tax relief from the Government, with the help of Catax (a Ryan company).
R&D tax relief was introduced by the Government in 2000 to incentivise innovation, and results in either a reduction in a limited company’s corporation tax bill or a cash lump sum.
Malcolm Hill, director of UK Garden Buildings comments: “Garden buildings have always been popular but demand has increased massively in the last few years as more people want to create home offices, gyms and bars.
“But if you’re creating a room to use day in, day out, you don’t want it to be draughty in the winter or have to stay on top of the up-keep every year. That is why we set our sights on developing a no-maintenance garden room that could come with a 25-year guarantee, far longer than the industry standard.
“After painstaking research and manufacturing, we managed to develop a solution that is both weatherproof and pleasing to look at.
“We completely underestimated the demand there would be when we launched, and in a reasonably short space of time the majority of installations were for the non-maintenance buildings.
“We’re grateful to Catax for assisting us with our R&D claim, which recognises the time and effort put into such an undertaking.”
Kully Nijjar, Associate Director of innovation funding specialist Catax (a Ryan company), added: “Malcolm and the UK Garden Buildings team are a great example of a business that wants to stay at the forefront of technology and keep moving industry best practice forward.
“Offering a 25-year guarantee is a powerful statement that they believe in the integrity of their buildings — but a lot of hard work and effort went in to make this possible.
“The tax relief UK Garden Buildings has received can play a big part in enabling the company to do even more R&D over the coming years.”
Kully Nijjar can be reached at Kully.Nijjar@catax.com.