Cotton Court Business Centre

Preston

November NatWest Events

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We are excited to be hosting a series of free events in partnership with NatWest in November! These events are a must-attend for an idea or early-stage businesses and entrepreneurs that are serious about growth!

First of all, we have the Pre-Accelerator Ignition event on Tuesday 12th November. This event has been designed for early-stage businesses and entrepreneurs to access tools and techniques to build a great pitch, map out their business model and develop a strategy to overcome entrepreneurial challenges.

During this 4-hour event, NatWest will take you through these three key sessions whilst also creating multiple opportunities to network with like-minded entrepreneurs and allowing you to build connections in Lancashire. 

By registering for this event you will also receive an invitation to join the NatWest Pre-Accelerator programme. Pre-Accelerator is a fully-funded programme which contains 12 action-focussed online training modules aimed at further developing your business to Start, Scale and Succeed. Attendance at this Ignition event is compulsory to join the Pre-Accelerator programme.

The event is free to attend, but registration is essential:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/natwest-pre-accelerator-in-partnership-with-lancashire-business-growth-hub-tickets-75295112709

Then we have the Back Her Business workshop on Tuesday 26th November, hosted by NatWest and Crowdfunder which will teach entrepreneurs all about how crowdfunding works, and on how crowdfunding in general and Back Her Business, in particular, can be an effective way to get your new business up and running.

By joining the session you’ll learn about:

  • The importance of female entrepreneurship to society
  • The Rose Review
  • Back Her Business: how people can access it and the Bank’s role
  • What crowdfunding is, and all about Crowdfunder
  • Benefits of crowdfunding, including Back Her Business match funding
  • How to crowdfund

Again, the event is free to attend, but registration is essential:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/back-her-business-preston-turning-ideas-into-businesses-free-event-tickets-74804100077

Cotton Court take part in the Big PNE Sleepout!

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 On Friday 15th November the Cotton Court team along with hundreds of people will be sleeping out at Preston Deepdale Stadium to raise funds for the Foxton Centre. The Foxton Centre is a Preston based charity who are committed to helping adults and young people within the local community

Helping the city’s homeless, the sleep out aims to raise £50,000 to buy a house for Preston’s rough sleepers under the charity’s Housing First initiative. You can donate to our page here 

 

Here at Cotton Court we are entering a team of around 15 people, made up of staff and customers, to sleep out and hope to raise more than £1,000 between us!

Rochelle, said: “We are very proud to be able to be a part of the Big PNE Sleepout. Homelessness is a major issue in Preston and if we can contribute to raising awareness and money to support this cause then why not be involved.”

To make a donation towards this fantastic cause please visit Cotton Court group’s fundraising page here

 

Lancashire County Council chooses Cotton Court client to deliver its £11.25m Rosebud Fund

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A support fund available for businesses in Lancashire has a new team in charge of handing out loans designed to spark growth and jobs.

Lancashire County Council has chosen investment specialist GC Business Finance (GCBF) to deliver its £11.25m Rosebud business finance fund.

The team, based at Cotton Court, will oversee Rosebud loans from £10,000 to £300,000 for growing businesses over the next five years and will work alongside Lancashire County Developments.

It delivers more than £60m in finance to over 5,000 small and medium-sized enterprises each year. This includes managing the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund’s ‘microfinance’ funds, providing loans of between £25,000 and £100,000 to businesses across the powerhouse area.

Rosebud aims to create around 150 new jobs per year and will focus on sectors such as aerospace; advanced manufacturing; digital and creative; energy and environment; health innovation; and financial and professional services.

County councillor Michael Green, a cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning, said: “Over the last 30 years Rosebud has helped thousands of businesses across Lancashire to expand by tapping into finance to create new jobs, move premises and invest in technology. We’re incredibly pleased to be able to allocate a further £11.25m pounds to support growing Lancashire businesses to achieve their growth aspirations.”

Andy Walker, head of business growth and innovation at Lancashire County Council, said: “GC Business Finance already works closely with the Access 2 Finance service in Lancashire and has strong relationships with local businesses and the professional services community.

“It will help provide a seamless transition for the delivery of Rosebud finance, helping businesses create employment opportunities, especially the graduate-level jobs that can help us retain talent in Lancashire.”

 

Paul Breen, director of GC Business Finance, said: “Lancashire is a strong and vibrant economy and home to a vast number of successful businesses. However, some companies struggle to access funding through traditional means which is where Rosebud can play a vital role.”

Businesses interested in applying for Rosebud finance can do so through the county council website or Boost Business Lancashire. Applications for finance will be considered from businesses based in the administrative area of the council.

“Alongside GC Business Finance, the Growth Company is heading up a new initiative that has been launched across Lancashire to boost business productivity. Skills Support for the Workforce 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”.

If you’d like more information on Skills Support for the Workforce in Lancashire and to see if your business is eligible, call 01772 920 750 or email WorkforceLancs@gcskills-support.uk.

International Cultural Awareness master class with BDC Moore!

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Join BDC Moore on Thursday 14th November 2019 here at Cotton Court for their International Cultural Awareness master class!

For whom is this Master Class?

  • Business owners
  • Team members dealing with international clients and/or suppliers
  • Team members attending international Trade Shows & Exhibitions
  • Marketing Professionals
  • Graphic Designers and Web Designers
  • HR professionals

Why should you attend this Master Class?

  • Learn how to avoid cultural pitfalls, which can be costly
  • Learn how to stay safe on international business trips
  • Learn how to build stronger and longer-lasting relationships
  • Learn how cultural awareness has a direct impact on your bottom line

What will be covered in this Master Class?

  • Meaning and impact of words, colours and symbols in different cultures
  • Legal and financial differences
  • How to stay politically correct
  • Impact of positive and negative stereotypes
  • How to use humour wisely

Limited number of spaces! Book your place now! 

Refreshments, lunch, workbook and free parking are included.

HLS Construction Training and Health and Safety Consultation

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We are pleased to be holding the HLS #SMSTS Refresher and #SSSTS course here at Cotton Court on the 23rd-24th and the 30th-31st October 2019!

HLS are specialists in Construction Training and Health and Safety Consultation across the UK and are delighted to announce the launch of their new Preston Venue!

The team of multidisciplinary Health and Safety Instructors can provide you with both Training and Consultancy services on request. They are highly qualified and motivated to provide a top-class service.  Having a North West base in Preston’s beautiful Cotton Court is fantastic as it’s so close to all amenities and travel is made so much easier.  HLS will be launching the CITB Site Safety Plus courses in October 2019 including Site Managers Training Scheme (SMSTS) and Supervisors Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS) and more.

Book your place now! https://www.health-life-safety.co.uk/open-courses/

Why not check them out on Facebook or Twitter for additional courses and special offers Or call Michelle on 07961 588 881

Experience Next Generation Wellness at Cotton Court Business Centre, with YOLO Wellbeing

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Cotton Court has teamed up with YOLO Wellbeing, a completely new and innovative, workplace wellness experience; to promote National Stress Awareness Day on 6th November 2019.

With a growing emphasis on mental health prevention, employers are finding themselves increasingly responsible for the welfare of their employees in the workplace. Forward-thinking businesses are already recognising that effective Wellbeing initiatives can have significant and positive benefits on morale, retention and reputation, particularly when looking at talent acquisition.  

Robert Binns, Cotton Court said “ After meeting with Cheryle and seeing the mobile unit, it was instantly something that I knew we had to have down at Cotton Court. And what better day to do it than on National Stress Awareness Day?

 Mental health and wellbeing has become such a big topic over recent times so it will be fantastic to be able to give staff and clients at Cotton Court the opportunity to be able to take 15 minutes out of their day to benefit from the YOLO Wellbeing experience”

The YOLO Wellbeing experience has been developed by Founder, Cheryle Britton, to offer workplace wellbeing that improves the physical and mental health of employees through the delivery of massage and meditation. Promoted as 15 minutes of pure relaxation; employees feel rewarded by their experience, and by their employer, making it a win-win investment.

The most unique element of YOLO Wellbeing is that it is delivered in a customised, mobile unit, which is brought to your premises; once onsite the van is completely self-sufficient, running on batteries fuelled by solar energy.  The YOLO Wellbeing environment is a very calm space, that allows you to very quickly de-stress and relax. 

Originally from a corporate background, Cheryle was keen to ensure that the YOLO Wellbeing experience is really easy to implement. In addition to the mobile space, she has created a secure online booking system.  This means your staff can book their own appointments in advance, minimising the need for internal planning and resource. 

Cheryle comments “I’m really excited to be working with Cotton Court to raise awareness of stress; particularly as it is one of the main contributors to mental ill/health and workplace absence.

“YOLO Wellbeing is has been designed to improve both the mental and physical health of your employees, whilst providing an experience that will significantly boost morale in your workplace.” 

About YOLO Wellbeing

The YOLO Wellbeing concept was developed by Founder, Cheryle Britton, who, whilst on a family holiday in Sri Lanka, she was inspired by the stress-relieving benefits of Ayurvedic Massage. She spent the next 12 months retraining, researching and developing the techniques used in the YOLO Wellbeing head, neck and shoulder massage; which in clinical trials have been proven to inhibit the release of the stress hormone, Cortisol; and boost the production of feel-good neurotransmitters: Serotonin, Dopamine and Oxytocin.

YOLO Wellbeing has been designed to be easy to implement, requiring minimum resource and minimum disruption to your business. All appointments are pre-booked via a secure online site; the YOLO Wellbeing environment is brought to your business premises, and employees only require 15 minutes away from their desk to receive the treatment. For more information please visit www.yolowellbeing.co.uk.

National Baby Swimming Week With Water Babies!

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To celebrate National Baby Swimming Week which is 13th – 19th October 2019 we turn our attention to our second-floor residents Water Babies. In May last year, Holly Unsworth was the youngest ever owner of a Water Babies swimming business and has had an office at Cotton Court from day 1! 

Who are they?

25-year old Bolton-born Holly Unsworth runs the Lancashire and Bolton Water Babies, the world’s largest baby and toddler swimming franchise business.

The team, based at Cotton Court employs 15 people, including Jess (office manager), and admin assistants Gemma, VJ and Leo. 

What do they do?

The Lancashire and Bolton Water Babies franchise teaches around 900 babies a week. The sessions focus on teaching parents how to teach their babies to swim so that they can support them as they learn an important skill and develops confidence. As the world’s largest professional baby and toddler swimming programme, Water Babies teach around 47,000 children at over 560 pools every week.

What makes Water Babies great?

Baby swimming with Water Babies is an exciting, enriching experience for both parent and child. Not only does it teach vital life skills, but it also enhances the way babies and toddlers learn other skills, too. Holly and the team, work hard to make sure they have exceptionally high standards of professionalism, and no one else works harder to make sure the babies feel happy and safe. Holly said 

“ We always incorporate lots of bonding, fun and socialising, so you can be sure that a Water Baby is a happy baby!”

Find out more about what they do here… WaterBabies

The journey so far…

Holly was first inspired to dip her toe in the water as a Water Babies baby swimming teacher when she used to help out as a pool attendant as a teenager. She would watch the classes and be completely in awe of the incredible bond the teachers had with the babies. She always loved children, and she knew then that she wanted to be a part of this special time in their lives.

Holly gained several years’ teaching experience from working for a neighbouring Water Babies office, where she had the chance to run her own classes locally and jumped at it. 

What does Holly like best about having her own business?

She enjoys watching the little ones as they progress each week, and knowing that not only has she helped them in their swimming journey but have also watched them grow up, is a real privilege.

She enjoys the freedom that being her own boss gives her, she has a great team and loves being able to help her team develop and progress in their own careers. 

When asked what she thought made them successful, Franchisee Holly said “Everyone is so professional and willing to help. We’ll do as much as we can for each other and the customers and we’re all the best at what we do.” 

How can you find them?

You can get in touch with WaterBabies Lancashire by email at: digiswim@waterbabies.co.uk

Visit their website at: https://www.waterbabies.co.uk/lp/baby-swimming/lancashire

Follow them on Facebook: Water Babies (Lancashire)

Or call them on: 01772 921523

Spotlight On Success – Digital Touch

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Everything Digital Touches Turns to Photo Edited Gold

We’ve all heard of the Midas Touch, but what about the Digital Touch?

Now celebrating three years at Cotton Court’s creative hub, Digital Touch has recently undergone the sort of visual makeover that the successful digital photo retouching business is widely-regarded for delivering on, in relation to its extensive – and eclectic – client list.

Founded some 8 years ago by Managing Director Jilly Jackson, the company specialises in providing a digitally-created product, wedding, beauty, family and restoration photo retouching services for both personal and business clients. And has enjoyed accumulative successes completing briefs of varying natures and eventualities since Digital Touch’s inception.

 

The Sky’s the Limit for Rebranded Digital Photo Retouching Business

The standard of Jilly and her image-enhancing team’s work and professionalism shown from the outset of communications with clients is clearly reflected in the volume of positive customer reviews that Digital Touch receives. So much so, that Digital Touch is recognised as the UK’s number 1 Digital Photo Retouching Services by TrustPilot, and equally highly rated at Google My Business.

As Jilly seeks to take the business forward, she’s invested heavily of late in both continued visual appeal and employee power. Keenly illustrated in the aesthetic rebranding of the client-facing website along with the appointment of Chris Barker to the role of in-house Content Writer.

https://digitaltouch.co.uk/

https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/digitaltouch.co.uk

https://g.page/digital-touch-photo-retouching

Business Competition Prize Gives Innovative Storage Company A Flying Start 

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What a whirlwind the past four months have been for Craig Wilson who won our start up competition with his innovative business concept, Blox Mobile Storage

In the last few weeks, as part of the competition prize, we joined forces with Scott and Natasha from the award-winning Northern Heart Films to create a film that captures the essence of what makes the Blox Storage concept so unique and why it’s such an ideal solution for anyone needing storage.

Craig said “Self storage is highly competitive and it has been difficult to get the unique features of our service across to potential customers. We felt like a promo video would be a great way to explain why mobile self storage is the easiest way to move goods into storage and the team at Cotton Court helped us out by getting the guys at Northern Heart Films to produce a great promo for us.”

Since winning the competition, Blox have also professional business phone number with call answering services, meaning he has been able to fulfil customer orders knowing that his calls are being managed and no potential clients are slipping through the net. 

Cotton Court based marketing experts, Invoke Media, designed a marketing plan and strategy for Blox focusing on Craig’s ambitious plans for the future. Central to the marketing strategy is the new promotional video, which Craig felt was something his business really needed.

Craig said “The support from Cotton Court has been invaluable and enabled us to access services that there’s no way we could’ve afforded at such an early point in our business. We’ve had the guys at Napthens Solicitors making sure all of our legal stuff is ok, marketing help from the team at Invoke Media and a priceless phone answering service to make sure we don’t miss any valuable calls.”

Back in May, the competition saw entrepreneurs from across the County pitch for a chance to win everything they need to start, build and expand their business.  Twelve finalists came into Cotton Court to film their business pitches, then the top three pitched their ideas in a Dragon’s Den style format to our expert panel, which was made up of some high profile business experts in Lancashire.

Since May, BLOX has launched the first Mobile Self-Storage service of its kind in the region, with the use of custom-built trailers that can deliver and collect walk-in sized storage containers directly to the customers door.

Craig is planning a busy few months for Blox Storage “We’ve got some great partnerships emerging with Estate Agents and building project managers and it’s clear that people are beginning to see the benefits of our unique service. We hope to expand on our concept and provide an ever-improving, affordable and convenient way for the people of Central Lancashire to move goods into storage!” 

Lancashire Adult Learning’s Get Started With ICT Course- Places Available

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Do you want to improve your computer skills; help the children with their homework or are you struggling to use the internet?

Lancashire Adult Learning are holding a FREE ICT course which will help you develop a range of skills for home, work or if you are looking for employment. Classes are small, friendly and supportive, allowing you to grow in confidence at your own pace. At the start, you will attend a Functional skills taster session, where you will find out more about the course and see if it’s the right one for you. These courses offer the opportunity to gain Functional Skills qualifications from Entry Level to Level 1!

These ICT courses will help you to develop the skills and confidence to use a computer. You can then use your new skills to find services in your area; find new hobbies; help your children with their homework or even to find a new job online. Computer skills are widely used across all areas of everyday life and having these skills will help to access much more information, as well as improving your job prospects.

Call 0333 003 1717 to enrol now!