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Companies across North Staffordshire are being urged to take advantage of a unique programme, set up by Michelin to champion job creation in the region. Michelin Development is keen to see applications to its business support service increase.Subsidised, unsecured loans of up to £50,000 are available for projects with the potential to create quality, sustainable jobs.

One company helped by Michelin Development is Patera Engineering. Based in Fenton the family-run business – founded by Chris Lees in 1988 and currently led by his son Shaun – is going from strength to strength in the construction, structural and custodial sectors.

Two loans from Michelin Development have helped them to move into larger premises, invest in high technology equipment and develop advanced Building Information Modelling (BIM) within the business. This has enabled Patera Engineering to make the leap into top specification projects nationally and internationally, as its reputation for quality, innovation and service grows.

As a result, 20 new jobs have been created over the last 5 years. Shaun Lees said: “Michelin Development has played an invaluable role in helping our business to grow. The process to apply is straightforward and we value the relationship and support we’ve benefitted from over time with Michelin. As we’ve expanded, the money has helped us to really focus on the specific changes being implemented at the time, without an impact on cashflow. Michelin Development is a great initiative for companies and enterprises in our area.”

Shaun adds, “It really works and I’d strongly recommend that business leaders investigate the opportunities the fund can offer.”

Mike Cole, head of Michelin Development, is keen to hear from other businesses looking to gear up for the next stage of growth. Mr Cole said: “Our message to businesses is not to miss out. We have the funds in place, but we need to receive applications to deliver this support and investment in our community. The companies we can help know their markets and figures. They just need a little extra support to move along on that growth journey, and that is where we can step in to help.”

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