Copper Alloys receives £1m sales boost

Copper Alloys receives £1m sales boost

R&D tax relief support from Jumpstart has helped Copper Alloys secure £1m worth of extra sales.

A North Staffordshire manufacturer has won £1m of new orders after seeking the support of Jumpstart.

Copper Alloys Ltd, which employs 30 people at its facility in Burslem, has secured a string of contracts over the last 12 months with customers in the aerospace, defence, marine and petrochemical sectors.

 This expansion has been supported by Jumpstart, who has worked with the company to generate more than £100,000 of R&D tax relief over the last three years…all of which has been directed into the development of new alloys for applications as diverse as ice cream machines and nuclear submarines.

“Current managing director John Dudley started the business in 2000 as a continuous casting firm, but the management team quickly realised they needed to differentiate themselves from rivals,” said Ivan Richardson, technical manager at Copper Alloys.

“They decided to focus on developing their technical knowledge and invested heavily in recruiting experts in metallurgy, casting technicians and machining specialists, giving them the ability to take on extremely complex projects.”

He added: “Today, we are now seen as a leading manufacturer of copper and nickel based forged and finished machined components and have high profile clients across the world. One of our major defence customers even gave us their prestigious ‘Trust’ Award for the reliability and quality of our supply.

“We are always striving for innovation and trying to push new metal technology to the next level…this has been crucial in delivering the £1m of new business wins.”

Copper Alloys, which holds AS9100 and ISO 9001 quality accreditations, started to explore ways in which government funding could support its expansion in 2013.

However, after being weighed down by paperwork and failing to meet certain criteria for European funding, the company decided to take a different route and enlisted the support of Jumpstart to see if it qualified for tax relief for its R&D work.

This proved to be a wise move with the two parties quickly forging a strong working relationship and, to date, more than £100,000 has been returned to the firm.

Ivan said: “I wasn’t really sure what to expect when we stated to look at R&D tax relief…you hear a lot of bad tales about the amount of time it takes and not getting the best results.

“This couldn’t be further from the truth with Jumpstart. We were immediately assigned a Technical Analyst in John Thomson, whose strong industrial experience meant he could get to grips with what we were doing and then develop a report that met the needs of HMRC.

“It was relatively quick, easy to do and we managed to get a significant amount of money back from projects that had created a new lead-free alloy for use in an ice cream machine and a new alloy that is developed for periscopes in nuclear submarines.”

Jumpstart’s John Thomson added his support: “On the surface, Copper Alloys operate in a very traditional industry, but it doesn’t take you long to realise how innovative and technologically advanced it is.

“The company undertakes lots of R&D in testing out new processes and new equipment so it was just a case of extracting the information from Ivan and then packaging it in a way that would support its claim. I’m delighted we’ve had such a good result so far and it has been fantastic to see the money ploughed back into helping the company grow to £6m.”