It’s crunch time for the UK manufacturing industry. The innovation required for it to face its challenges head-on is essential but capital intensive. Take a more strategic approach to R&D tax relief to secure your future competitive advantage.

R&D tax credits for the manufacturing industry

The manufacturing sector is research and development intensive and so for many, R&D tax incentives are nothing new. But HMRC has changed its approach and with it a new era for R&D tax relief has emerged.
Now is the time to ensure you’re realising its full potential. R&D tax relief should form part of the manufacturing industry's response to issues like supply chain disruptions, regulatory misalignment and labour shortages. R&D tax credits aren’t a silver bullet – but used strategically, the incentives offer a powerful support mechanism. If you’re looking for a partner with unmatched specialist expertise to help you secure your future competitive advantage, ForrestBrown is here to help.

Unrivalled technical firepower

You can benefit from our manufacturing sector insight with even the most complex projects. Your ForrestBrown team comprises chartered tax advisers and mechanical engineers with direct manufacturing industry experience. Our specialists have hands-on industry experience, so are well-equipped to help you uncover all your R&D, leading to larger, more robust claims.

On your terms

We help you make the most of your innovation, tailoring our service to your needs. We offer advisory support, in the form of one-off consultancy projects; or full end-to-end claim support. Every consultancy project is built on our tried-and-tested methodology, ensuring our advice is consistent, clear, and flexible.

Industry-leading service

By partnering with us, your manufacturing R&D tax relief claim will meet the highest technical standards, protecting you from risk. ForrestBrown don’t just advise on the incentive, we lead our industry. We’re members of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) and we work closely with HMRC to raise standards and contribute to guidance.

HMRC R&D enquiry support

Manufacturing R&D tax advice tailored to your business

Approached correctly, R&D tax relief can transform a manufacturing business. Speak to our team of chartered tax advisers, mechanical engineers and former HMRC inspectors for specialist guidance tailored to you.

R&D in manufacturing

The UK manufacturing industry faces a triple threat: Low productivity, skills shortages and ongoing disruption caused by a changing political landscape. And with ambitious Net Zero targets in place and a ‘Build Back Better’ agenda, now is a critical time for manufacturers.

We know the answer to these challenges: innovation. More and more manufacturing and industrial processes are being automated using modern smart technology. Automation means more productivity, lower costs and, vitally, being less prone to sudden shocks and downturns.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is well underway. Almost three-quarters of R&D taking place in the UK (69%) is manufacturing innovation. While these investments are essential, they are also capital intensive. 

R&D tax relief can make these costs much more manageable – and unlock cash for further investment. At ForrestBrown, we work with manufacturing businesses like yours, to support the ongoing transition to Industry 4.0.

Qualifying R&D in the manufacturing industry

Even as an innovative business, you may be surprised to know the extent of manufacturing projects that can qualify for R&D tax credits.

Qualifying R&D can be found across a diverse range of manufacturing businesses. From pioneering a new anaerobic fermentation method for coffee cherries to curbing unnecessary use of plastic in production to meet green targets, the scope of R&D in manufacturing is vast.

Examples of manufacturing R&D include:

  • The development, testing and trialling of new products.
  • The digitisation of previously manual machining processes.
  • Developing new forms of environmentally-friendly packaging.
  • Developing specialised tools to meet high-specification product designs.
  • Changing an existing production process to comply with changing regulations.
  • Integrating new technologies with legacy back-end systems.
  • Making mechanical or digital modifications to production lines to increase productivity.

R&D sub-sectors in the manufacturing industry

diagram of sectors carrying out R&D in the manufacturing

Assembling the best team for you

ForrestBrown’s team is available for your business on your terms. Whether that means delivering your full manufacturing R&D claim, or offering specialised advice tailored to your specific circumstances, our team of consultants is here to help.

Our manufacturing industry specialists boast unparalleled insight into your R&D, while our chartered tax advisers and accountants oversee your claim and analyse your costs. With HMRC scrutiny at an all-time high, our work is always checked by an in-house quality assurance team – including former HMRC inspectors – to mitigate enquiry risk.

Peter Beavis Sector Specialist

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Peter Beavis PhD MSci CSci CChem MRSC MIMMM

Senior Sector Specialist

Robin Taylor

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Robin Taylor BEng MIED

Senior Sector Specialist

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Jenny Tragner CA ATT (Fellow)

Director & Head of Policy

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Mark Andrew

Senior Tax Specialist and ex-HMRC Inspector

Phil Smith CTA

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Phil Smith CTA

Technical Lead

James Dudbridge

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James Dudbridge LLB


Jayne Stokes

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Jayne Stokes ACA

Associate Director

Why choose ForrestBrown

What does the best R&D tax advice for your manufacturing business look like? The answer is unique to you. ForrestBrown will customise our service to match your requirements. Whether that’s handling your entire claim, or supporting you with specific expertise on a consultancy basis.

R&D, especially in the manufacturing industry, encompasses a wide array of different work. Don’t cram your diverse innovation into a rigid R&D tax service. ForrestBrown’s flexible approach helps you make claims that are robust, cost-effective and timely.