Burlen Fuel Systems powers to success on back of R&D

RESEARCH and development has proved the growth engine for a Salisbury company known worldwide for making carburettors, fuel pumps and spares.

Burlen Fuel Systems began life in 1971 as a Salisbury garage, specialising in the servicing of sports cars.

Forty four years later it has grown into a £4.5 million business employing 60 people and based in the former Spitfire works in Castle Road, Stratford Sub Castle.

The firm is the world's sole manufacturer of genuine SU, AMAL and Zenith carburettors, fuel pumps and spares.

It also restores and re-introduces a number of famous classic vehicle fuel systems and associated spares.

Burlen Fuel Systems is jointly owned by Miles Harvell and John Burnett who are semi-retired.

John's son, Mark is Managing Director and his brothers Andy and Jamie are Directors looking after warehouse/logistics and production respectively.

Mark said: "It's fair to say that our products are revered by classic car and motorcycle owners across the globe. We export to just about every country in the world.

"The secret is to never stand still but keep innovating. Research and development (R&D) is key to this and has helped us expand the business.

"Our accountants, Princecroft Willis (PcW), have been brilliant in identifying the tax relief available to companies like ourselves who are investing heavily in R&D.

"We've been really impressed by the passion shown for our business and the results they've achieved.

"Thanks to them we have saved thousands of pounds in tax which can be ploughed back into the business."

Martin Aldridge, PcW Director, said many companies were unaware of the R&D incentives available to a wide range of businesses with qualifying product development, system processes or procedures.

He added: "Companies making a successful claim can either reduce their corporation tax bill or, in some circumstances, receive a cash payment from HM Revenue & Customs.

"We're very pleased to have helped Burlen Fuel Systems save nearly £30,000 in just one tax year (2012) and will now be seeing if we can achieve similar savings in subsequent years.

"Eligible firms can benefit from considerable tax incentives which can save thousands of pounds. We'd urge them to take professional advice," Martin added.

Tanks a lot:
John Burnett, Director, Burlen Fuel Systems (left) and son Mark Burnett, Managing Director (right)
with Rachel Addiss, Heather Williams and Martin Aldridge of chartered accountants and business advisers Princecroft Willis