Cotton Court Business Centre

Author: Grace Bennett

Podio Launch!

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This month we are delighted to be part of the launch of the new city centre magazine for businesses, students and commuters- Podio PR1.

Podio will be bringing out their first edition later this month and would like to invite local businesses, charities, passionate Prestonian’s, writers and photographers to their launch event at Cotton Court. This is a prime opportunity to network with like minded individuals in the area and maybe grab yourself some advertising in the next ‘Freshers’ edition.

Andy Neal is the Co-founder & editor of Podio PR1, Preston’s free city centre magazine targeting commuters & students. Also organiser of LGBT club nights across the city, a passionate Progressio volunteer and political & travel blogger.

If you wish to attend this event you can sign up for your free ticket by clicking here.


Barnados: The Big Cycle Ride

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Our good friend and assistant director of Barnados is planning to undertake a huge challenge all in the aid of supporting children! Paul is wanting to undertake a huge bike ride. The ride isn’t just a standard path it’s the path the Dr Thomas Barnado travelled when he arrived from Holyhead to East London in 1866.

This is a big opportunity to support children.

Paul looking for 1 or 2 key sponsors who would sponsor me to ride the path Dr Thomas Barnardo travelled when he arrived from Holyhead to East London in 1866.

He is also looking for 1 or 2 companies to sponsor me for a £1,000 each or £2,000 total.

This money will go to the work of Barnardo’s in Lancashire. It will enable Paul to ride to 362 miles in 5 days. For your involvement you will get:

  • Sponsorship of the cycle ride
  • Media coverage
  • Leading sponsorship recognition
  • The knowledge that your money will have made a real difference in children’s lives
  • Enable an aging assistant director to complete the once in a lifetime challenge
  • You should feel praised to ‘make a difference’

About the person you would sponsor

Paul Wilcox has been working with children and young people for 40 years. He has devoted my working life to helping young people and families less fortunate than himself.

He’s am passionate about the great work Barnardo’s does to help vulnerable children.

This would be a great way of showing your support to the work of Barnardo’s. It will enable Paul to complete this historical 150th anniversary journey.


UCLan LaunchPad Challenge Weekend

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Last weekend 20 students from LaunchPad joined us at Cotton Court for a ‘The Apprentice/Dragons Den’ style challenge weekend.

The LaunchPad leadership development programme is unique to the School of Business and the School of Management at UCLan and provides students with opportunities to enhance their professional skills allowing them to become the global leaders of the future.

LaunchPad students learn about the challenges of the current job market from employer and graduate perspectives and the leadership approaches needed to address them, in both theory and practice.


Students were split up into 3 groups that each focused on a area of Preston that was to be developed, these areas were: Preston’s Nightlife, The Market Quarter and the Redevelopment of New Hall Lane. The Students had one day to come up with a business and marketing plan will only a ‘budget’ of £2 million.


The next day the groups presented their ideas and plans to a panel of ‘Dragons’ including our very own Rob Binns.  After the ‘Dragons’ debated the winner was finally chosen, it was the Redevelopment of New Hall Lane!

Well done to all of the students who took part and thank you to UCLan for choosing Cotton Court again to host their event.


Project Export Hosts Export Trade Surgery With Us

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Our clients Project Export have recently announced their latest surgery on Exporting Trade. This surgery though is slightly different, they’ll be joined by an associate company based in Budapest via skype to form a ‘Regional Insight’ hour.

They are happy to give first hand advice about doing business in Central and Eastern Europe, across to Russia and also to include the Balkan countries.

ProjectExport is made up of a group of international trade professionals, each with many years of experience in their respective disciplines. It is an entirely private initiative, driven by Exportaid and supported by experts in international selling and marketing, language and interpretation, contract and intellectual property law, Customs and regulatory requirements, documentation and logistics.

The event will take place on 7th June from 1pm

To find out more have a look at their website here.

Barnados 150th Anniversary at Buckingham Palace

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Last week Rob, Amy and Jon attended a garden party to remember at Buckingham Palace all in honour of Barnados 150th anniversary.

Barnados welcomed 5000 volunteers, supporters, and young people that they support into the queens gardens for a spectacular party. Cotton Court was invited to Buckingham Palace as supporters of Barnados. We’ve supported Barnados in many ways such as raising money for them at various events, giving presents to them to support their young people at Christmas, and most importantly trying to find 150 businesses to sign up and pledge something to help young people.


At the event we were treated to fabulous music from the Gurkha Brigade and scrumptious afternoon tea fit for a royal! We even had time for a little celebrity spotting with people such as Warwick Davis, Nicola Roberts and of course Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall.


Andy from Billboard PR1 – Big Fast for a Big Cause

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One of our great customers Andy Neale is taking part in a Zimbabwean style fast this week to raise money for a charity that is close to his heart- Progressio.

Andy has just returned from spending six whole months in Nicaragua living off rice and beans helping a remote community adapt to Climate Change. The fast is part of a project called ZimFast. ZimFast is a fundraising challenge to raise vital funds for Progressio’s work alongside people living in poverty. The challenge allow you to stand in solidarity with communities in poor and fragile countries like Zimbabwe, and take a glimpse into the lack of choice that extreme poverty brings.

Andy is just wanting £3 from 11 people to reach his target with his partner and friend. So if you haven’t done your ‘good dead of the day’ do it now!

You can read more here and donate here!

We are supporting Barnardos will you?

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We are delighted to be supporting Barnardo’s in celebrating their 150th anniversary.


2016 marks 150 years of Barnardo’s work, supporting hundreds of thousands of the UK’s most vulnerable children. The charity provides a comprehensive range of local support, counselling, fostering, adoption, education, residential and training services for more than 100,000 children, young people and their families.

Barnardo’s need 150 businesses across Lancashire to sign up and pledge to support their work in some way; either in the form of donations, gifts in kind, volunteering or fundraising.


  • Equipment donation
  • Prize donations
  • Use of facilities and services (could be a parking space, venue, catering)
  • Fundraising events
  • Members of staff volunteering
  • Expertise (could be legal, marketing, strategic)
  • Offering work experience or apprenticeships for young people

To register your interest, email us at If you’re not sure what to pledge, don’t worry we’ve got loads of great ideas so get in touch!

What Happens Next?

  • We will contact you to share your pledge
  • You will be invited to a launch event
  • Barnardo’s will ask you for a business card. All 150 business cards will be made into a piece of artwork

So we’ve pledged, what do we get from this?

  • Be part of the 150th Anniversary
  • Contribute to Barnardo’s work, making a difference in children’s’ lives
  • Media coverage
  • Fulfil social responsibility
  • Provide charity giving responsibility for staff via fundraising/donations

We hope you can join us in supporting Barnardo’s in some way and be part of their 150th Anniversary.


Cotton Court Welcomes Two New Staff

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This month we’ve welcomed two new members of staff- Ella joins us on reception as the centre administrator and Gavin joins us as the new resident photographer.

Here’s what Ella had to say…

“Hello everyone, I’m Ella Worthy, Cotton Court’s Business Centre Administrator, and I can’t wait to get going and explore even into the ins and outs of everything that’s going on in and around the building.
I began my journey with Cotton Court a few days ago and have thoroughly enjoyed every moment so far. I have prior experience of working within office environments through working as a digital marketing assistant and as an administration and accounts assistant at a nursery. I also have a level Three Diploma in Social Media and Digital Marketing for Business and three A-levels.
I am no stranger to Cotton Court as I have attended many courses and have even taken part in the studio’s camera club on several occasions.
I feel like I have really slotted well into the team and so far Amy and Jon have really helped me understand the business as a whole. I’m really looking forward to working with Amy on the accounts as this is something I take a keen interest in.
Outside of my the office bubble, I have been an adult leader for Girlguiding at St Andrews Brownies and Guides for just over five years and my love of the outdoors has made me a keen photographer.”

And here is a little insight into Gavin…

“Gavin has been taking photographs since he was a teenager, but became a full time professional photographer about 5 years ago, and for the last 2 years he ran the photo studio at Ribby Hall Village. He loves taking photos of happy people with natural smiles whether it be in the studio or at weddings which he cover throughout the North West. He can also help you if you need some commercial work either for your website, or just want to improve your profile pictures.”