1107 Focus Spring 2020 Print - Page 23



STOKE SIGNAGE
COMPANY POINTS THE
WAY TO GROWTH with
MICHELIN DEVELOPMENT.
A Stoke-on-Trent signage company is conquering
new markets and creating jobs following a £50,000
cash injection from Michelin Development.
Mike Cole, head of Michelin Development, is keen
to hear from other North Staffordshire businesses
targeting growth.
Mr Cole said: “James is a true entrepreneur and he is
now in a position to really power forward.
“This particular loan has been even more satisfying
because we collaborated with Stoke-on-Trent City
Council, who sit on our Michelin Development
steering committee, and match funded their grant
offer.
Dresden-based A2B Signs and Graphics is investing
in state-of-the-art technology to reach new
customers in the UK and overseas.
“They match funded through the Stoke-on-Trent
and Staffordshire Grants for Growth programme,
which is part funded by the European Regional
Development Fund.
The money, which has been match funded by a
grant from Stoke-on-Trent City Council, has enabled
A2B Signs and Graphics to make a £150,000
investment in a finishing table.
“The early release of the Michelin funds meant we
were able to help cover the gap in the cashflow
between James purchasing the machine and
receiving the grant.
This allows the company to produce larger-format
printed materials on almost any substrate. As a
result, over the next three years, the business
is forecasting turnover to reach more than £1.2
million and staff numbers to almost double from 13
people to 25.
“A2B Signs and Graphics is a great example of a
business looking to expand, create jobs and support
the local economy as a whole.
Specialising in bespoke signage, vehicle and fleet
livery, wide format print, exhibition displays and
labels, A2B Signs and Graphics was set up by James
Machin after he left Staffordshire University in
2007, where he studied business.
"We have the funds in place, but we need to receive
applications to deliver this support and investment
in our community.
He started the firm from his home, working around
hotel shifts to get the company off the ground.
It has continued to grow and James applied to
Michelin Development to support his ambitious
plans, after largely self-financing expansion over the
years.
Michelin Development offers subsidised, unsecured
loans of up to £50,000 for projects with the
potential to create high-quality, sustainable jobs.
Applicants must employ fewer than 250 people
and be involved in manufacturing, engineering or
business to business services.
“Our message to other small businesses on the
same footing is that we are here to help.
“The companies we can help know their markets
and figures – they just need a little extra support to
move along on their growth journey. That is where
we can step in."
To find out more visit
michelindevelopment.co.uk
Pictured:
Mike Cole head of Michelin Development and
James Machin A2B Signs and Graphics
James said: “The new machine is transforming our
business and enabling us to do much more for our
clients. We are now working across the length and
breadth of the UK and Northern Ireland and we’ve
also won work in the Middle East.
“The support we have had from Michelin
Development has helped make this all possible. It’s a
great service and we would highly recommend it to
businesses looking to grow.”
23.

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