Landscaping and lifestyle business Planterra is laying the groundwork for future growth with support from Michelin.
The company has built a landmark office and is creating 15 new roles with a low-interest loan from the tyre giant.
Based in Barlaston, Staffordshire, Planterra’s new headquarters houses its expanding portfolio of lifestyle and horticultural brands, which includes Blue Iris Landscapes, OakHouse Professional, ProHort, Japanese Knotweed Expert and The Oak Pot Company, as well as its new garden machinery repairs division Barlaston Toolshed.
Managing director Jason Harker, who founded the company 25 years ago after leaving school, said: “The loan from Michelin Development has been invaluable to us.
“It has helped us to get the new headquarters off the ground and without that support we would not have been in a position to create the building or develop the new roles.”
Small and medium-sized enterprises located in and around Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stoke-on-Trent and the Staffordshire Moorlands can apply to the Michelin Development programme for unsecured, subsidised loans of up to £50,000 – as well free expertise.
Successful applicants will have shown they have the potential to create high quality, long-term jobs, employ fewer than 250 people currently, and be involved in manufacturing, engineering or business-to-business services.
The loans can usually be used to attract additional funding from other sources.
Carol Hopkins, co-ordinator for Michelin Development in the UK, said: “Planterra is a great example of how we can offer the extra support to unleash really significant growth potential.
“We need entrepreneurs and high-growth companies who want to invest in the future and create local jobs to contact us.
“There are new and existing businesses across North Staffordshire that are ready to grow – we want to help them reach their potential.
“We have the funds in place, but we need to receive applications to deliver this support and investment in our community.”
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Michelin Development is backed by a steering committee, which includes Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, NatWest Bank, Staffordshire Business Innovation Centre and Stoke-on-Trent City Council Economic Development Unit.
The programme provides an opportunity for tyre-giant Michelin to support the regeneration of the local business community and in particular the creation of quality sustainable jobs.