Shaun Lees of Patera Engineering with Carol Hopkins, Michelin Development’s Economic Development Officer in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.
Shaun Lees of Patera Engineering with Carol Hopkins, Michelin Development’s Economic Development Officer.

Michelin Development fund helps Patera Engineering move forward to create high-quality, skilled jobs 

1 min read

A family-run engineering business in North Staffordshire is continuing to grow thanks to support from one of the world’s biggest tyre manufacturers. 

Patera Engineering has a long-term relationship with Michelin Tyre whose UK commercial headquarters is in Stoke-on-Trent. 

Patera has benefited for eight years from the Michelin Development fund, which supports regeneration of the local business community and the creation of quality sustainable jobs. 

The firm has recently received its third low-cost loan, enabling it to expand and fit out of its manufacturing site in Fenton. 

The family-run business, founded by Chris Lees in 1988 and currently led by his son Shaun, operates in the construction, structural and custodial sectors. 

Since joining forces with Michelin Development eight years ago, Patera Engineering has seen its turnover grow five-fold, and 40 new, skilled roles created. 

 Previous support from Michelin Development has helped the business to move into larger premises, invest in high-tech equipment and develop advanced Building Information Modelling. 

Set up 19 years ago to champion job creation, the Michelin Development programme offers subsidised, unsecured loans of up to £50,000, available for projects with the potential to create quality, sustainable jobs. 

Shaun Lees said: “Michelin Development is a unique service and has played a vital role in enabling our business to grow.  

“The process to apply is straightforward. All too often many loans and grants can be confusing and take a lot of effort to progress without always offering a tangible outcome. 

“Michelin Development has a clear due diligence procedure, but it is straightforward and there’s the support from the Michelin team throughout the process. 

“It has helped us overcome the challenge of running a growing business.  As we’ve expanded, the money has enabled us to focus on what we need to do to grow the business, without an impact on cashflow.” 

Michelin Development is available to small and medium-sized enterprises based in and around Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Moorlands. 

In Staffordshire it is backed by a steering committee, which includes Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, NatWest Bank, the Business Innovation Centre, Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent City Council Economic Development Unit.  

Carol Hopkins, Michelin Development’s Economic Development Officer, said: “Companies like Patera Engineering show the benefits of the programme for the region.  

“We are here to help deliver the extra support for businesses starting a growth journey. 

“The funds are in place, and we welcome applications to deliver this support and investment in our community.”  

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Ron Quenby

Senior journalist with more than 25 years’ experience of working as a news reporter for provincial and national newspapers. Ron’s varied skills include feature writing, interviewing for real life stories and compiling specialist articles for in-house publications.

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