Cotton Court Business Centre

Author: Amy Blundell

Water Babies are getting back in the pool!

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Following the most recent Government announcement, here in England, Water Babies will be back into pools on the 25th of July! This is fantastic news, they’ve  been working so hard behind the scenes to get ready for a safe return for their customers.

The safety of customers, as well as colleagues and teachers, is and always will be, Water Babies number one priority. In compliance with government guidance, there will be several changes to the classes to ensure that the classes are a safe place to be.

They have completely redefined their safety procedures to provide the utmost level of care and consideration for all swimmers.

Water Babies believe that learning to swim is a right that every child should have, not just for the physical, emotional and cognitive benefits it offers but also for the essential lifesaving skill that it provides. They are elated to be able to begin teaching the youngest generation to be able to swim again and can’t wait to see you back in the pool. Water Babies would like to express gratitude for the patience and enduring support of their customers during this time.

The national governing bodies for swimming have released recommended guidelines for how swimming pools can start to re-open, following closures around COVID-19 earlier this year.

Water Babies have been busy working behind the scenes to ensure they can start lessons again as soon as they can, with the safety of your family and their staff as the highest priority.

On their website, they also offer practice at home techniques, and a regularly updated FAQs section. If you want any information, contact Holly and the team on 01772 921523



Exciting News From Preston Partnership

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Update from Preston Partnership

Have a year on us
For the financial year 2020/21 Preston Partnership  won’t be charging membership fees to be a member. This is to support businesses who have faced unprecedented challenges and to reflect that we’ve been unable to host any face to face meetings. Sign up here. 

Shaping the future of the city

Preston’s future is bright. As towns and cities around the country work to find a path to recovery from the impact of coronavirus it’s vital that businesses and organisation come together to breathe new life into the city centre.

Preston Partnership are hosting a FREE webinar at 2pm on Monday 15th June with an update from Preston’s Towns Fund Board on development in the city.

This is your chance to learn more about work going on to bring fresh investment to the city and have your say on how this money should be spent.

Please register for a free ticket to be given information on how to log onto the event.

Welcoming you back to the city

As you may know from next week more of the city centre is opening up for business. Organisations and businesses from every sector including the Council and Preston BID are working hard to ensure this is as safe as possible for everybody.

Keep an eye on their social media accounts for more information on what’s being done to keep everyone safe as we welcome you back to the city.

Covid 19 – Support for Lancashire Businesses

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In the current situation, there is loads of useful advice and help available for Lancashire businesses as they feel the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. We wanted to share some of the great initiatives and information around, to help businesses choose the help that is right for them.

Boost Business Support – Boost have created a dedicated #BoostYourRecovery service to support businesses during the pandemic, and plan their recovery. The initiative is available for all Lancashire businesses and is led by Lancashire County Council. There is also an online Recovery Hub with resilience guides, access to Government updates and partner advice as well information about webinars, virtual drop-in sessions and other support.

North Lancs Chamber of Commerce – NWLCC have created a Coronavirus Toolkit where businesses can find a host of resources, including free training, legal information and templates, Government guidance and health & safety.

Federation of Small Businesses – FSB offer Covid information and support for small businesses including tips, articles, templates and info about available support.

Preston City Council – Preston Council have provided advice for specific business sectors and the guidelines and legislation around these sectors. This is also where businesses can apply for some of the Government Support grants.





Home……and Away

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Over the last few months the way everyone is working has changed. As people are starting to take steps back towards normality, we want to help people and businesses look at new ways in which they can keep both their team safe and productivity high.We’ve been looking into some of the challenges and also the benefits that the lockdown has presented to people in business, right across the spectrum from freelancers to large organisations of many descriptions.

People have gone from being in the office full time, or nearly full time, to spending an entire working week at home and have adapted quickly. However, for some people it isn’t without new struggles; whether it is a lack of focus at home due to other distractions, concerns about client confidentiality and privacy on phone calls, maintaining team cohesion and direction on collaborative projects, or simply just desperate for a change of scene and want to separate home and work life a bit more. Not to mention the aches and pains that come with sitting on a kitchen chair for 8 hours a day, hunched over a laptop.

Businesses day to day operations have had to shift, the plans for the future may look considerably different, and they are looking at new ways in which they can maintain collaboration, productivity and focus, whilst prioritising the health, safety and wellbeing of the employees and their families.

One of the priorities for businesses of all sizes now is increased flexibility, and we want to support customers and the business community to be able to work whichever way best suits their needs.

So maybe you’re an entrepreneur who only needs to use professional services such as meeting rooms, admin services or printing for a week at a time. Maybe you’re working for a large company and your office is operating at reduced capacity so you want somewhere else to work from. Or maybe you have a small team who are happy working from home but sometimes want a change of scene or need to work collaboratively. We have introduced some new service options to help customers take flexibility to the next level.

Our new services include
Remote Working Bespoke Package – We understand that every remote working team has different needs and challenges, so our new offering enables you to build a custom, remote working package for your business and your team. You can choose as few or as many of the services you need, whether its occasional office use, printing services or a business phone number.

Socially Distanced Workspace – We are also offering offices on flexible terms, even if you just need to work from somewhere for a day, maybe you have children at home and you could benefit from a few days of quiet focus each week in our new socially distanced workspaces. We have large offices set up too, so it’s ideal if you need to get your team together.

Pay As You Go Desk Space – On demand access to a professional working environment. No contracts, so it’s ideal if people want a change of scene now and again.

Digital Training Centre – Coming Soon! Training professionals and speakers that are switching to online or blended training can come into our new digital training space, fully equipped with filming equipment and access to video communications software to deliver their courses.

Fully Funded Training Available for Lancashire Businesses – Skills Support for the Workforce

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Cotton Court residents Growth Company are delivering the Skills Support for the Workforce programme across Lancashire. It is a fully-funded programme designed to help employers bridge skills gaps in their organisation through bespoke training. Businesses can access a range of accredited and non-accredited programmes to help them upskill their staff – helping employees to progress in their careers. Skills Support for the Workforce aims to enhance staff productivity, increase morale and improve staff retention in organisations across the county. A range of remote delivery options have also been added to the programmes.

If you are looking to gain qualifications to enhance your skillset or you are looking to re-train for a specific role, Growth Company have a range of remote learning programmes available for you to start now. The programmes are designed to help increase your job prospects, enhance skills and improve your performance.

What types of programmes are available?

Customer service
Education and training
Health and social care
IT and Digital
Team leading

For more information click here. 


UK Media and Events Launch Sanitise Events!

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Cotton Court Client, UK Media and Events, have launched Sanitise Events to assist with getting you back to work safely!

The nature of their business, like so many, is radically changing. Over the years, they have provided Event POS along with the production of many amazing events, extremely efficiently and cost effectively for our corporate and public sector clients. They are now in the process of repositioning what they do to be more accessible to clients who aren’t simply ‘Event’ customers.

As the UK unites in the fight against Coronavirus and protecting the NHS, UKMAE have used their capabilities to produce products specifically designed to help keep your staff and customers safe; whether you are a continuing business or looking to re-open your business following the lockdown.

They are following closely all Government guidelines and advice, and on this basis, intend adding products daily that will assist businesses to get back up and running safely and efficiently, helping to instil confidence in staff and customers alike. With their products, you can both protect and inform about the safety measures you are taking on your premises.

You can visit their online shop here.

The shop holds ‘stock’ designed items that can be dispatched for next day delivery, and also produce custom branded products quickly on request.

Here are just some of the products coming to the website soon but available on request now, and all can be custom branded

Posters (Standard and Weatherproof)

Strutt Cards (desk/reception stand up information/warning cards)

Welcome Mats

Correx Bollard wraps/covers

Queuing systems

Various signage solutions produced on Dibond (aluminium composite sheet), Foamex, Correx.

Branding walls

Pavement signs

Various sanitiser dispensers (indoor and outdoor)

And much more…


For larger organisations they can provide discounts on quantity, a free survey and a fitting service if required.



Cotton Court Hosts Combined Authorities and Devolution Event

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On Wednesday 26th February, we hosted the Downtown in Business Leader’s Lunch with Geoff Driver CBE, Leader of Lancashire County Council and welcomed some prominent business figures from across Lancashire.

Cllr Driver and Frank McKenna discussed a variety of issues, and centred around Combined Authorities and devolution and the need for councils within Lancashire to work together to overcome challenges that the devolution agenda may bring.

The County Council has a £1.5 billion expenditure each year, Cllr Driver also discussed a key challenge for the region is developing the economy and it is down to the local business leaders to help to drive that agenda forward. Since the current leaders came into power 4 years ago, the £200 million deficit has reduced.

As well as the Combined Authority, Cllr Driver also discussed Lancashire’s role in the Northern Powerhouse. He also shared candidly his thoughts and opinions on a variety of topics during a Q&A session with the audience.

Downtown CEO, Frank McKenna said; “It was great to hear Geoff Driver today talking about an issue that has dominated the discussion for a number of years in Lancashire. It finally appears that progress is being made.

“I would like to thank Geoff for taking the time to be with us today and for today’s audience for making today’s event an incredibly interesting and thoughtful discussion. There were some fantastic comments and contributions from some of the leading business personalities in the region.”





Cotton Court Supports Preston Partnership

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We are proud to be a member of Preston Partnership, an independent partnership of businesses and organisations that are passionate about and committed to the city.

Preston Partnership is made up of organisations of all sizes, and across many industries with a common goal to champion the city of Preston and surrounding areas.

The partnership was created to bring together all these organisations, to bring commitment, energy and dialogue from all sides.

What is Preston Partnership?

– Members from the public, private and third sector connected to Preston joining together to establish a dialogue.

– An opportunity for businesses to actively engage in supporting the growth and development of Preston.
– A powerful network that is kept up to date about what is happening in Preston.
– A group who collaborate on projects to influence the development of Preston through ideas, involvement and resource.

Visit their website for more information or to sign up.


Tamsin has finished her apprenticeship!

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I’ve recently finished a 12 month Business Administration Level 3 course at Cotton Court that I did through Runshaw College. The apprenticeship and coursework covered areas such as customer service, rights and responsibilities, providing administration services and understanding business environment.

I’m so pleased that I was able to complete this at Cotton Court. It’s a great place to work and everyone is like family. Having a close relationship with my colleagues and the customers makes all the difference.

Now I’ve completed my apprenticeship, I’m keen to get in to focus on the customer services, business development and marketing of the business as I love dealing with customers and I get great satisfaction when I see a customer happy with the service!

I would definitely recommend apprenticeships to other school leavers and  young people. If you lack confidence and feel like you need an extra boost to help you along your path then apprenticeships are definitely for you. I learnt so much through doing mine and am fortunate enough to be able continue to develop my career at Cotton Court!

Robert is Judging at the BIBA’s!

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Our Director, Rob Binns is very honoured to have been asked to judge the nominees for this year’s BIBA Awards!

The Be Inspired Business Awards is Lancashire’s largest and longest running business awards programme. Their purpose is to drive growth, cultivate excellence and fuel innovation throughout Lancashire economy, while nurturing the next generation of business leaders. That’s what makes the BIBA’s different and is the reason why everyone wants to win!

All shortlisted applicants will meet the judging panel for face to face interviews where they will get the opportunity to demonstrate what sets their business apart from the competition. This first round will begin on May 11th and run until May 22nd. The judges will then be sent ‘on tour’ from the 8th June to the 3rd July where they will meet the finalists and their workforce in their facilities.

The Awards Ceremony will take place at Blackpool Tower Ballroom where guests are treated to drama, entertainment and fun as well as a four-course meal prepared by one of the county’s top chefs with the awards ceremony kicking off at 9.45.

Good luck to all of this year’s applicants and we’re sure Robert is looking forward to meeting you all!