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Market expansion with R&D Tax Credits

Focus SB is a long-term client of MPA, who switched to us for R&D tax advice after previously claiming through their accountant. After working with our technical analyst Linda they have been able to claim R&D tax relief successfully on a number of projects and are exploring even more options for innovation funding.

About Focus SB

About Focus SB

Focus SB design and manufacture high-end electrical accessories for residential, heritage, and luxury hospitality projects.

Working with design consultants, architects, consulting engineers and installation specialists, their products are sold globally, including in China, where they’re the first and only British and European manufacturer to achieve China Quality Certification (CQC).

Through a combination of Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credits, enhanced capital allowances, and regional funding, Focus SB has been able to expand into new markets, and invest in premises, equipment and employees in order to build an environmentally conscious, technology-led business ready for future challenges.


Like many manufacturers, Focus SB recognise the importance of a sustainable future.

Taking advantage of the enhanced capital allowances for energy efficient and low/zero-carbon technology, they were able to invest in solar panels for their main factory site in 2021.

The company has also committed to moving all company vehicles to tax efficient and environmentally friendly electric or hybrid as they come up for renewal; has reduced single-use plastics in their packaging in response to the introduction of the Plastics Tax; and has also taken advantage of funding from Low Carbon Across the South and East Programme to introduce energy-efficient LED lighting into their factories.


Smart technology

New, custom-designed, and built Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines have been installed at the Focus SB factory as part of a turnkey solution that includes a collaborative robot to enhance manufacturing efficiency.

The level of automation these new machines provide will support productivity and unlock the ability to work on even more complex projects and products, promoting an exciting cycle of innovate > reward > invest > innovate.

The investment into this new CNC not only signifies our intention as a business to continue to reinvest profits for longer-term gain. It also continues our learning and development as a business in robotics and automation, which represents the future for British manufacturing to be competitive and innovative on the global stage.

Gary Stevens Managing Director, Focus SB

Innovation at the heart

Focus SB’s designers and mechanical engineers have long been at the forefront of the research and development of innovative and sustainable solutions in response to rapidly emerging technologies and environmental challenges in an ever-changing world.

This commitment to innovation has paid dividends for the company, who continue to successfully claim R&D tax relief with MPA.

If it weren’t for the R&D tax credit scheme, it’s highly likely that we would drastically cut back on this critical area [R&D] for growth for an SME like us. That would not benefit us, or UK Plc.

Andrew Lanworn Finance Manager and Company Secretary, Focus SB

R&D everywhere

Similar to many manufacturers, R&D for Focus SB occurs across a variety of projects – both in developing new products and in response to client briefs.

Some of their most recent projects eligible for R&D tax relief saw them overcome challenges discovered during strength testing, which involved engineers modelling, scoping, and 3D prototyping multiple solutions; and developing new machining processes to address structural integrity challenges in brand-new product lines.

Critically for Focus SB, MPA was able to provide guidance around the inclusion of R&D costs from failed projects in their claim – something Finance Manager and Company Secretary Andrew Lanworn called an ‘eye opener’.

Choosing MPA

Before working with MPA, Focus SB had been claiming tax relief through their accountant. Recognising the complex work being undertaken, Andrew felt that seeking an advisor with technical expertise in-house would be worth exploring.

MPA is an extremely professional and knowledgeable expert in the field of R&D Tax Credits. Relying on an accountant does not produce the same results due to the specialist nature of the process and our work.

The expert advice from our Technical Analyst Linda Tomkins is invaluable. Having a technical/engineering background and taking the time to understand our business has been key for our claim success.

In addition to expert advice on what is acceptable and what isn't acceptable in terms of claims also gives us the confidence that we are compliant.

Andrew Lanworn Finance Manager and Company Secretary, Focus SB

Funding expansion

Combining financial support from Locate East Sussex and funds from a successful R&D Tax Credit claim won through MPA, Focus SB has been able to expand into global markets in a way never before seen in the industry.

Expansion into new global markets saw us making history in our industry by being the first and only British and European manufacturer to achieve selling products for luxury interiors specification to mainland China.

Gary Stevens Managing Director, Focus SB

This, at a time when trading internationally continues to be challenging, is impressive, and opening up new channels and markets will stand SMEs like Focus SB in good stead over the next few potentially turbulent years.

The value of good advice

For SMEs like Focus SB, working with an innovation specialist like MPA is the key to unlocking maximum tax efficiencies, funding opportunities, and business stability.

If you’re looking for a professional services provider who can speak your language, get in touch for tax, accounts, innovation financing, and strategic business advice today.

Fallon Wynter
Focus SB

Focus SB design and manufacture high-end electrical accessories for residential, heritage, and luxury hospitality projects.

Focus SB website