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Grant is driving force to increased productivity for T&N Tyres

15 June 2022

With the Government’s net-zero target for greenhouse gas emissions set for 2050, many businesses are making changes toward more sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices. Despite the challenges of rising costs, T&N Tyre Supplies has invested over £100,000 in new machinery to increase productivity and help other organisations toward their net-zero journeys.

T&N Tyre Supplies was established in 2007 and is a green business based in Leicester. It manufactures retread tyres, a high-tech re-manufacturing process for tyres that replaces the tread. Its main customer base is haulage companies, many of which are looking to establish their green credentials and sustainability targets.

The business has been awarded a £24,150 growth grant from the Business Gateway Growth Hub and has also created two new jobs.

The British Tyre Manufacturers’ Association says that each time a truck and bus tyre is retreaded 30kg of rubber, up to 20kg of steel and 60kg of CO2 is saved. Retreading of truck and bus tyres contributes £230 million to the UK economy each year. T&N Tyres saves around 800 to 1500 tyres a month from going into landfill, doing their bit to reduce carbon emissions.

Like all manufacturers, T&N faced rapidly escalating costs, particularly over the last few years. The rubber they use for retreading comes from Asia and Europe so both Covid-19 and Brexit played a role in increasing raw material costs. Shipping costs have also risen massively from $1,200 to $20,000 in the last 18 months and electricity prices jumped two and a half fold.

“We’ve been trading in a very challenging business environment, costs were rising at an incredible pace and couldn’t be absorbed by customers,“ said the Finance Director.

“We had to find a way to improve efficiency and increase productivity. To do that we had to invest. Had we not been talking to Business Adviser, Russ Pacey from the Business Gateway, we would never have known about the grant.”

T&N’s new Matteuzzi computer-controlled buffing machine gives its tyres a better quality finish in an early stage of the process and is a lot faster. It also requires less handling by the operators, being more IT weighted, so they can do a lot without touching the machinery, providing significant efficiencies.

“The grant has had a very positive impact on the business. It’s so typical of this kind of activity where 1 plus 1 often make much more than 2. Russ has been very helpful before and during the application process.

“Investing in very tangible things like machinery has definitely created a sense of optimism with our employees because they are well aware of the very challenging sector we are in. The machinery is more high-tech which also means it increases their skill base which is what we want for them.

“It’s early days but hopefully in time we’ll start to see a return on our investment and tangible cost savings as well as the qualitative results we are seeing.”

T&N Tyres were also referred by Russ to the Leicester Employment Hub when looking for new recruits. They have supported the local community by taking on a number of young people not in employment, education or training (NEETS). They have offered paid work trials to vulnerable young adults and this has led to permanent jobs for some at the business.

Senior Business Advice Manager, Russ Pacey added: “Retreading is a great example of the circular economy and is growing as a sector. I admire the determination of the T&N team, taking a risk when others may have given up. Investing at this time is already having a positive effect on the morale of the team and no doubt it won’t be long before they start to see an impact on their bottom line.”

Leicestershire businesses interested in the Business Growth Grant should visit this page for eligibility criteria or call 0116 366 8487.

Pictures: Machine operatives at T&N Tyre Supplies using the new buffing machine

man operating tyre machine male with tyre on machine male programming tyre machine