Michelin stops rolling

The fund has closed having helped create 450 new jobs over the past eight years. More than 40 SMEs have benefitted from the financial assistance and business advice offered by the Michelin Development scheme which amounts in total to 69 loans worth £1.6m.

The fund was launched as part of Michelin's corporate social responsibility commitment to replace the jobs lost when its tyre factory in Burnley closed in 2002.

The last firm to benefit is Burnley based Process Instruments, a supplier of water quality analysers, which received a loan of £12,000 from the fund to help create two new manufacturing jobs.

Mike Riding, of Process Instruments, said: “It's an honour in many ways to be the last company to receive a loan from Michelin Development but at the same time I am sad to see it go - Michelin Development has been brilliant.

Mike Cole, Michelin Development director, said: “We are very proud of the achievements of the Michelin Development scheme in East Lancashire and while it's sad that we have to come to a close, its only appropriate that we do so.

“Our legacy to the area is one of investment and the creation of quality, sustainable, long term jobs that have helped to make a tangible difference to the regional economy.”