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R&D Case Study – Nicholsons

At its base in Oxfordshire, Nicholsons maintains a 23-acre, family-run Plant Centre and provides a full range of forestry and landscape services—from woodland management and arboriculture to garden design, build and maintenance.

The company’s commitment to quality, staff development, the environment and the community is reflected in numerous industry accolades and has been the driving force for much of the innovation behind its successful claims for R&D tax relief.

R&D Qualifying Activity

One of the key areas of development for Nicholsons has been the design and implementation of a tailored stock management system. The company identified the need to develop a bespoke solution because standard stock management software is generally unable to handle ‘live’ stock (i.e. plants).  The success of the project came about following a number of failed and abandoned lines of investigation, the costs of which were included in the company’s successful claim for R&D tax relief.

Nicholsons continued to develop the software to enable the stock control system to integrate with a new bespoke ‘webshop’, enabling staff to access real-time information on stock availability, and its accounting system.

These projects entailed a comprehensive programme of technical upskilling for key personnel which was also included as qualifying expenditure in the R&D claim

What this case study demonstrates

Failed attempts to improve products or processes can still count as qualifying expenditure – the activity does not have to be successful to make a claim. This often comes as a pleasant surprise to forward-thinking business owners who have invested both time and money into perfecting solutions. 

It is also important not to overlook the time and costs involved in training and developing staff members in support of ongoing R&D projects as these will add to the value of a claim.

To find out how Haines Watts could support your business call 01432 273189 or contact us

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