Innovation talk leads to £37,000 tax boost for software firm

A SOFTWARE company working with some of the world’s leading energy suppliers has taken on a new business analyst after saving more than £37,000 through a research and development tax break.

NETPark based Quorum Development Ltd discovered the tax saving initiative at an innovation talk hosted by Business Durham, the economic development organisation for County Durham.

The software firm, which was established in 2002 and is based at the North East Technology Park (NETPark) in Sedgefield, supplies expert advice, software and services to organisations such as EDF Energy, Orsted, in Denmark, and Centrica. Following the event, the company worked with a business advisory firm and applied for research and development tax credits, a Government tax relief that rewards UK companies for investing in innovation.

John Sherban, director and co-founder of Quorum, said: “The power generation industry we work in is constantly changing due to new regulations so we’re always developing new software in response. We used to think that R&D tax credits only went to men in white coats but as we now know, that’s not the case. It was a revelation to find we could successfully put a claim in.”

Quorum currently employs 14 staff and has clients in Europe, the Middle East and Australia. The company turns over £1.3m per year, with plans to turn over £2m in two years’ time. John said the company would look to expand into bigger offices at the fast-growing NETPark, which has recently undergone a £7.4m expansion and created new space for companies looking to scale up.

Added John: “NETPark has been a great place for us. The location is great for our clients who fly into Newcastle Airport and the staff at Business Durham have been fantastic and have done everything they can to make the business run better – whether it’s putting on the innovation breakfasts or finding more space.”

Janet Todd, manager of NETPark, which is run by Business Durham on behalf of Durham County Council, said: “We arrange regular innovation talks and they always focus around a specific topic. It was fantastic to see Quorum receive their research and development tax credits as a result of one of our talks. Companies often don’t realise they’re entitled to claim them, but it can make quite a sizeable difference, as Quorum has shown.

“Quorum is an exceptional company to work with. They have a very considered approach to doing business and a great reputation within their sector, having recently won a number of contracts, some of them with big energy providers, which further enhances their growing portfolio of clients. We look forward to supporting them further as their business grows.”

Business Development Director at Quorum Development Paul Usher, NETPark Manager Janet Todd and Commercial Director and Founder of Quorum John Sherban.

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Access to quality facilities was one of the main drivers for deciding to locate the business at the NETPark. We have been able to use this as a launch pad to link into support from CPI and world-class expertise from Durham University.

Steve Clements, - Managing Director, aXenic

It fits perfectly for us that we’re surrounded by like-minded companies at NETPark. There are a number of highly skilled people in the area who can help us grow our business. The facilities and services offered by NETPark are first class, they make office life simple and engaging.

Stuart Wilson, - CEO, Ascarii

The quality of the facilities at NETPark and the attitude of staff is first class. It has a really dynamic, innovative atmosphere.

Dr Neil Loxley, - Chief executive, IBEX

We initially came because of the printable electronics centre but access to a highly skilled semi conductor workforce in the North East has been a key factor in us staying and growing here, as well as the value for money office space and the access to funding.

Ken Williamson, - COO, PragmatIC Printing

The proximity to the universities and the infrastructure are very important factors. Ultimately having a presence in Europe is very valuable to us and we intend to stay at NETPark for many years to come.

Dr Arnab Basu, - CEO, Kromek

CPI has developed a specialist offering to support SMEs looking to develop their printable electronics applications and our partnership with Business Durham has been instrumental in attracting several SMEs to locate here in the region.

Dr Jon Helliwell, - Director of Printable Electronics, CPI
2018-08-07T08:37:30+00:00
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