With just a week to go to the region’s largest employer inspired science, technology, engineering, manufacturing and construction careers event, Get up to Speed with STEM, the organisers are expecting a record turnout. With 90 exhibitors from Sheffield City Region and beyond set to inspire youngsters (aged 8 to 25) from 68 schools (over 2,500 young people) many local but some travelling from as far afield as Newcastle and Leicester.   

As well as extending the reach geographically the event this year has encompassed some new sectors and activities. For the first time it will include a Construction Zone sponsored by Go Construct and the CITB showcasing the varied careers and skills required in the sector with demonstrations on everything from traditional stone masonry to building design and acoustics. With exhibitors including the likes of Henry Boot, Horbury Group, Mears Group, Horbury Group and Woodhead Group

For the first time the event will also host the finals of the Gulliver’s Wonderful World challenge where 5 primary schools from Rotherham will compete to see who has the best ideas for their new theme park. Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park and Resort is an exciting and inspiring addition to the Rotherham landscape playing a significant part in the regeneration plans for the borough and wider city region. It will impact positively on the local and regional economy. Boosting investment, creating employment, growing tourism and raising profile. With this investment comes a desire by Gulliver’s to play a wider part in the local community to maximise impact, become a good neighbour and support the wider transformation of the borough and its residents.

Another first is the introduction of presentations by young employees telling the story of their journey from education into employment and their successes to date, hopefully inspiring others that they too can succeed. “My Job, My Journey” speakers include those who have come the apprentice route and others the university route, including Dr Rahul Mandal who works as a research associate at the University of Sheffield Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, and is the winner of the Great British Bake Off 2018. As an avid volunteer STEM ambassador, Rahul regularly works with young people to encourage them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths-based (STEM) subjects. “If you can do baking, you can do science and engineering and if you’re doing engineering, then you can bake,” he says.

If that wasn’t enough then there are a range of local and national employers involved including headline Sponsors Liberty Speciality Steels, AESSEAL plc and Cooper Brown Enterprises plus many others including Rolls-Royce, McLaren, Orchid Orthopaedic Solutions and Doncasters Bramah. Plus many hands on attractions from F1 Racing Car Simulators to Virtual Reality technologies and a Space Dome. The event takes place at Magna Science adventure Centre on Wednesday 27th March and is open to schools, families and young people (from 8 to 25). The morning is now fully booked but places are still available in the afternoon so to attend simply register HERE to reserve your places.

Do you pay technically skilled staff to solve scientific or technological problems?

If so, this is a good indicator that your company could be claiming support from HMRC towards these, and other associated costs, in the form of R&D tax reliefs. The relief is worth up to 25% of the qualifying cost, with cash payments available from HMRC in some cases – can you afford to miss out?

The Government recognises that innovation drives economic growth and one of the ways in which they encourage innovation is through the R&D tax credits regime. The reliefs, which were first introduced almost 20 years ago, are still widely under-claimed, even though they can be worth almost £25k in tax saved for every £100k of qualifying spend.

One of the main reasons that the relief isn’t claimed by all those who are entitled is because the level of innovation required to claim is overestimated. One simple question we often ask companies we work with when identifying potential claims is ‘Do you pay technically skilled staff to solve technical problems?’. If the answer is yes, it’s often the case that activity qualifying for R&D relief is being carried on.

The role of the skilled employee is key when considering R&D reliefs. Recognising that an essential requirement for successful R&D is the skilled individual, HMRC refers to ‘competent professional’ throughout the guidance supporting the regime. A competent professional has a track record, accumulated knowledge, skills and qualification in the specific field. The competent professional helps define the R&D project, assessing the technically challenging areas of the project.  If a solution to a problem is not ‘readily deducible’ by the competent professional, then it’s likely R&D has taken place. R&D relief is available for companies across all sectors and fields of science and technology and depending on the area in which your company operates, your competent professional could be a software developer or an engineer, for example.

One other point worth bearing in mind when considering your skilled employees is ensuring you retain these skills in your business. If these skilled individuals were to leave, there could be negative impacts on the business, including taking knowledge to competitors, the cost and difficulties in replacing them and the uncertainty this creates. There are many ways in which key employees can be incentivised in a tax efficient manner, helping to lock in talent and this is something on which the Radius team liaises with the wider tax planning team at Shorts. We would be happy to discuss these issues with you.

Our Radius specialists focus on quickly and concisely assessing a company’s eligibility to claim Research and Development tax reliefs. They will then ensure your claim is completed as painlessly as possible, is compliant (we have a 100% success rate) and is maximised.

Why not speak to the Shorts’ Radius team to find out how easy it is to make your company’s innovation pay. Our team:

  • Includes an ex-HMRC Inspector who specialised in reviewing and processing R&D tax relief claims – have you claim reviewed prior to submission
  • Is the official R&D tax relief partner to the Sheffield, Barnsley and Rotherham and East Midlands Chambers of Commerce
  • Ensures claims are prepared by true R&D tax relief specialists, not general tax advisers or accountants
  • Has robust quality control procedures to ensure that claims are fully compliant
  • Has never had a claim rejected by HMRC.

Contact Scott Burkinshaw or any member of the Radius team on 0114 2671617.

Automation | Robotics | Funding | Growth

The Regional Manufacturing Forum Event

Thursday, 7th March 2019, 16.00-18.00

Venue: Cutlers’ Hall, Church Street, Sheffield S1 1HG

16:00 Registration & Networking | 16:30 Presentations, Q&A | 17:30 Networking & Refreshments

For Manufacturers! Your opportunity to network with other Manufacturers


Chris Greaves, Head of Operations, Integrated Machining Group & Factory 2050, AMRC

Gordon Macrae, Special Projects Manager, Gripple

Andy Ryder, Corporate Finance Partner, Shorts Chartered Accountants

David Grimes, Head of Sheffield City Region Growth Hub

To book please email