Michelin Development helps Staffordshire landscape business bloom

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  • Michelin Development helps create 15 new jobs and a new HQ building for growing Staffordshire business
  • Planterra has a growing portfolio of businesses and an ambitious management team who are focused on growth and job creation
  • Michelin Development facilitates low-interest, unsecured loans for eligible small- and medium enterprises who meet its criteria

Staffordshire landscaping and lifestyle business Planterra is laying the groundwork for future growth with support from Michelin Development. The company has built a landmark office and is creating 15 new roles with a low interest loan from the tyre company.

Based in Barlaston, the company’s new headquarters have been constructed in a contemporary blend of glass and oak, to reflect the business’s skillset and connection with the outdoors. The building now houses Planterra’s 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 the new garden machinery repairs division Barlaston Toolshed.

Jason Harker, who oversees the group’s businesses in the role of managing director, founded the company 25 years ago after leaving school. He 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. The loan comes with a very low interest rate, it was a straightforward process to apply and we have also had plenty of assistance from the Michelin Development team.”

Small and medium-sized enterprises located in and around Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stoke-on-Trent and the Staffordshire Moorlands can apply to Michelin Development 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.”

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.

Businesses applying for financial support should have no outstanding creditors or repayment arrears and cannot use Michelin Development funding to pay off other loans.

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