Cotton Court Business Centre


Vibe Tickets sponsored local boxer Matty Clarkson

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Vibe Tickets sponsored local boxer Matty Clarkson in his Maxi Nutrition Semi Final bout against Travis Dickinson at Leeds Town Hall earlier this month. In all his branded gear, Clarkson took on Dickinson live on Channel 5, with Vibe Tickets founder and Cotton Court resident Luke Massie and Cotton Court owner Rob Binns ringside. The fight, stopped in the sixth round by the referee due to severe injuries to both parties, was dubbed by many ‘fight of the year’. ‘It was my first ever boxing match – and what a match it was!” Rob said following the event. Congratulations Matty & all at Vibe Tickets!

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Lancashire Business Awards goes with a Bang!

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Leading companies, business owners and entrepreneurs from across the county were rewarded for outstanding efforts in a range of sectors at a glittering awards ceremony at the spectacular Stanley House hotel last night.

Downtown hosted its annual Lancashire Business Awards in association with Bowker BMW and Lancashire Life, where Michael Finnigan from i2i and Preston College Principal Lis Smith were among the winners at the sell out event.


Our very own Jon Nutten presented Donna Beckett of Beckett & Co with Best use of Social Media. He successfully didn’t trip or fall on his way to the stage! Our table received a number of awards with Lis Smith Principal of Preston college and also Giullio Braganini for his new venue Stratos the Cocktail bar & Italian tapas restaurant


Networker of the Year sponsored by Downtown Lancashire in Business

Ryan Gibson – The Write Angle
Sarah Warren – UCLan

Best use of Social Media sponsored by Cotton Cort
Donna Beckett – Beckett & Co. Solicitors

Employer of the Year sponsored by Champion Accountants
Magma Digital

Best PR and Marketing Agency sponsored by Preston’s College
Kara Rose PR

Best Digital Agency sponsored by Blackburn College
Fat Media

Best Newcomer sponsored by East Z East
Lantei Compliance Services

Best Legal Company sponsored by Jones Corporate
Forbes Solicitors

Best Financial Firm/Business Bank sponsored by Obas UK
Bibby Financial Services

Best Accountancy Firm sponsored by Red Star Wealth Management
Champion Accountants

Best Property Firm sponsored by 4Site Projects
Conlon Construction

Best Hospitality Venue sponsored by Hays Recruitment

Best Hotel sponsored by Lancashire Life
The Tickled Trout

Business of the Year sponsored by Bowker Motor Group

Woman of the Year sponsored by UCLan
Debbie Pettitt – Marsden Rawsthorn Solicitors

Man of the Year sponsored by Stanley House
Michael Finnigan – i2i

Chief Executives Awards sponsored by Downtown Lancashire in Business
Bowker Motor Group

Contribution to Lancashire sponsored by Lancashire Life
Lis Smith – Preston’s College



A close friend to the Business Centre Daisy provided the evenings entertainment with a great stage performance. Her soulful voice accompanied by acoustic guitar, sax and cahon created a chilled sounds with an old school twist influenced by Sam Cooke, Melody Gardot, Paulo Nutini, Amy Winehouse, Bob Marley and Motown.

Parts of this story has been taken from Downtown in Business Blog. Lancashire Business Awards 2013 Blog

Finalist in the Lancashire Tourism Awards 2013

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The team of Cotton Court Business Centre are pleased to announce we have reached the final for Conference & Meeting Venue Award at the Lancashire Tourism Award 2013!!! We are truly excited that we have made it into the final stages and up against some of our biggest competition.

In our category we are up against Blackpool Zoo and Brockholes Visitor Centre, Preston.


The impressive shortlist for the Lancashire Tourism Award 2013 has been revealed.  Having received more applications than ever before, this year’s list of finalists is also the longest in the event’s 10 year history.

The Lancashire Tourism Awards 2013 will take place on Thursday 7 November at Blackburn Cathedral and will be one of the cathedral’s first major corporate events, hosted by tourism expert, broadcaster and Travel Editor of The Independent, Simon Calder.

Ruth Connor, Chief Executive of Marketing Lancashire said “We have been so impressed by the quantity and quality of applications, especially in this the Lancashire Tourism Awards 10th anniversary year. The awards celebrate the significance of tourism’s current £3.4billion contribution to the Lancashire economy and a great deal of that success is due to the dedication and enterprise of the businesses and individuals named today.


“We congratulate them and ask that colleagues across the county show their appreciation and pride in Lancashire, by supporting these exceptional businesses and by joining us on the 7 November at Blackburn Cathedral when the winners will be announced.”

Businesses supporting this year’s awards include: Total Food Service, Naphens Solicitors, Workhouse Marketing, Dewlay Cheese Makers, Group Travel Organiser Magazine

The BIBAs Awards 2013

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Lancashire’s leading and biggest awards competition came to a spectacular close last friday at Blackpool Tower Ball Room. Recognising the most successful and innovative companies within Lancashire. Hailed as the ‘the one they all want to win’, the BIBAs recognise and honour the breadth of business achievement in Lancashire in all its variety.


Myself and Robert were luckily invited by Preston’s College during our continuing work with the their students delivering a full day workshop within the building on Online Employability and social media success. I would also like to thank Paula from Radio Wave who also invited us to attend a truly amazing event!

The BIBAs this year attracted over 900+ local business men and women to attend what has been said the best one yet! With entertainment provided by Matt Cardle (X Factor Winner 2010) The host for the evening Eamonn Holmes & Marcus Bentley (Big Brother Voice) wowed the crowds with their quick wit humour and comic references even sighting he was someone else incase of bad feedback!

We would like to congratulate all the winners and finalists in what is probably the most rigorious selection process of all the awards in the lancashire area.


The Winners

Lancastrian of the year – John Lancaster MBE

E-Business of the year – Soap Media

Manufacturer of the year – Laila’s Fine Foods

Exporter of the year – Panaz

Employer of the year – F Parkinson LTD

Small Business of the year – Healthpoint

Service business of the year – Springhill Care Group

New business of the year – B R Contracting

Business woman of the year – Caroline Chesworth of MAD Science

Creative business of the year – The Grand at Clitheroe

Medium business of the year – Panaz

Entrepreneur of the year – Daniel Cuffe & Peter Taylor of Cuffe & Taylor

Leadership team of the year – Preston Bus

Change for growth – Connect 2 Cleanrooms

Excellence in customer service – UPL (M)

Business of the year – Fairbanks Environmental

Most inspiring business – Janet Thornton of Inspired Energy PLC

Green Business – Roaming Roosters





A growth conversation with…Luke Massie

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Taken from Boost Business Lancashire a featured article about one of our Business residents Luke Massie, who has now become a ambassador for Boost Business Lancashire .



Photo taken in Cotton Studios | Lancashire’s Premier Studio Hire Complex

Our latest growth conversation is with Luke Massie. Luke has been named among the country’s top 100 young entrepreneurs having built up and sold his first business by the age of 18. Luke currently runs four businesses, employing 14 full-time and six part-time staff. He is also the founder of The 1to500 Club, an online student marketing business that has successfully piloted in Preston. Luke is currently looking to roll out the platform, now rebranded as Studenthood, to university cities across the UK.

What is the biggest challenge you faced when growing your business and how did you overcome this?

Finding the individuals to be part of my core team. I overcame this by being patient and waiting for the right calibre of people. I don’t just employee people based on their CV or past achievements. I try to get to know people as individuals before getting them involved in any of my ventures. I’ve managed to find people that I believe can express my vision and are a part of achieving my goals.

What qualities must a growing business owner possess to be successful?

Resilience. You will fail, and the likelihood is you’re going to miss targets you’ve set yourself and feel you’ve not succeeded what you set out to do, but if every time you fail it makes you stronger then that’s what sets you apart as a successful business owner. Many people will doubt you along the way so the business owner has to demonstrate high levels of self belief to achieve success.

What top tip would you give to a business owner embarking on a growth plan?

Dream big and don’t be afraid of failing. Plan little and often because many markets are so dynamic that sometimes long-term planning is in effective. Three-week, three-month and six month planning is absolutely necessary. Consumer needs are changing all the time and you have to be able to adapt, so listen to market research and customer feedback.

Which entrepreneur do you admire and why?

Steve Jobs. He was a true visionary who knew what the consumer wanted even before they did.

Why is Lancashire a great place to grow a business?

With more support coming from the public sector, investors are really starting to notice the talent the county has to offer. There are many SMEs based in Lancashire winning major contracts ahead of other areas of the UK. It demonstrates that as long as you have a good product, service and business, it doesn’t matter where you’re based in the UK, you have a chance to be successful.

Why are you supporting Boost Business Lancashire?

Boost is designed to support business owners, which is something I am passionate about. I want to support other young entrepreneurs that are just embarking on their journey. I have used many of the services the scheme has to offer, for example the Growth Accelerator programme delivered by Winning Pitch, the Access to Finance service and help from specialist mentors. I would recommend any business starting and growing in Lancashire to find out what support is available.

Congratulations Abbie!!

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Our high flying Apprentice has just received her results! We would like to congratulate Abbie on her achievement. she has been fantastic since joining the team.



What the we have to say:

Abbie joined us as part of the One Connect Apprenticeship scheme. She has continually impressed with her work ethic and willingness to learn new skills. She is friendly, enthusiastic, and a pleasure to work with. She always works hard and has been a great help to us at Cotton Court as we have been very busy with conference bookings. She has continued to grow into her role and with the team here, and is well liked by staff and customers. 

Get voting again…. it’s been an exciting month in the Breathe office

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Guest blog by one of our clients:  Samera from Breathe Therapies

I am so delighted to announce that our very own hardworking Shelley Perry is an Eva Award finalist!! A well recognised event that stands for Enterprise Vision Award set up to celebrate entrepreneurial growth of women in the North West.

eva awards

It is touching to see the category for which she is placed under of ‘Inspirational Woman of the year’ as it is a title she truly deserves.

Now, the votes are open and I am eager to spread the joy.

Please tell everyone you know to get the word out by following the links below to place your vote with a few quick and easy clicks:

But the awards don’t stop there for us at Breathe Eating Disorder Service as we have also been lucky enough to be nominated for Holistic Business of the year award 2013, by the Holistic Directory who want to celebrate wonderful holistic businesses in the UK and the people that run them, so have launched an Award this year.

It’s absolutely fabulous to receive an acknowledgment and appreciation of the work we deliver within the community and to take this opportunity to thank the hard efforts and commitment shown daily by our clinical director Shelley Perry who is full of compassion and an inspiration to be around!!

You can place your vote by following the link below:

But Hurry, because the deadline closes on the 1st September and the winner will be announced on the 17th September, wish us luck and stay posted to find out the results!!

Your vote counts: Every vote is important to us and we thank you very much for all your support and votes in advance!!  We greatly appreciate it.

So please help us by voting for both of the awards listed and stay posted to find out what happens!!

Congratulations Mayor Veronica Afrin

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Mayor of Preston, Veronica Afrin, was sworn into the role at an inauguration ceremony last week, in which our very own Jon Nutten was a last minute stand in photographer for the reception at the Harris Museum on Wednesday night.

Coun Afrin said: “I have been involved in setting up all kinds of charities in Preston and a lot of them are already writing to me asking me to come and see them during my mayoral year.

“I am looking forward to catching up with a lot of old friends and meeting a lot of new ones.


“The role of mayor is still very important to people and after 35 years as a councillor this is the icing on the cake.”

The Labour councillor, who represents St Matthews ward, has appointed her daughter, Joanne, and granddaughter, Colette, as her Mayoresses.

Mayor Afrin has been straight to work on Saturday entertaining the Purple Flag inspectors as they inspected our City to ensure Preston retains its prestigious accreditation as one of the best nights out in the country for a third successive year. A project in which Cotton Court have been heavily involved in, by helping promote the event via multiple Social Media channels

All the staff at Cotton Court Business Centre wish Veronica all the very best for her tenure as Preston’s Mayor.