Cotton Court Business Centre

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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!

Yolo wellbeing

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As our visit from Cheryle at YOLO Wellbeing was such a huge hit last year, we have decided to do it again!

Cheryle is the founder and owner of YOLO Wellbeing. She created a sensory experience that combines massage and meditation in a specially designed mobile environment that means she is able to travel to you and offer this service from your workplace. The YOLO Wellbeing experience is designed to help improve physical and mental health and is a great way to reward and boost employees morale.

We have teamed up with Cheryle in order to be able to offer this unique experience again to our clients and staff for Stress Awareness Day on the 6th April, Massage at Work Week on the 3rd June and Stress Awareness Week on the 3rd November.

The feedback that we received from staff and clients last time round was really positive with everyone commenting on how relaxed they felt and how it had set them up to continue their day with a positive mindset. With the awareness days coming up, it seemed like the perfect idea to get Cheryle back and treat our clients and staff once again!

Growth Company Offering Fully Funded Training for Lancashire Businesses

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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.

The Skills Support for the Workforce programme is commissioned by the ESFA and working with the Lancashire LEP, Skills Support for the Workforce offers fully-funded support to help you develop staff through a range of training programmes which are tailored to your business needs.

Growth Company offers a variety of accredited and non-accredited programmes in sectors such as Engineering & Manufacture, Hospitality, Logistics, Management, Health & Social Care, Construction, and Creative & Digital.

These qualifications are aimed at individuals who would like to develop the skills and knowledge to progress within their chosen career. They are industry-recognised qualifications, assessing both knowledge and competence that are transferable across a range of competencies.

What’s on offer:
Analysis of current skills gaps in your business and tailored learning plans to meet them
Delivery of the qualifications within the workplace and with minimal disruption

Our programmes:
Accredited full level 2 and part level 3 qualifications are available alongside tailored support for your business
Can be used to develop basic skills in IT and digital
Include specialist support for businesses going through restructures and where staff are at risk of redundancy
Benefits  for your business:
A higher skilled workforce
Fewer skills gaps
Increase staff productivity
Improved staff retention
Enhanced morale
Opportunities are available to progress onto apprenticeships or higher-level qualifications after completing this training.
For more information please visit

National Stress Awareness Day with Yolo Wellbeing!

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Last week, to mark National Stress Awareness Day, we invited Cheryle from YOLO Wellbeing down to Cotton Court.

The aim was to provide our staff and clients with the YOLO Wellbeing Experience. 

 Cheryle’s mobile unit is geared up to provide a relaxing 15 minutes out of the office with tranquil mood lighting and a short video of either water, sunset or mountains to really help you relax whilst she gives you a neck, back and shoulder massage to relieve any tension that we may get as a  result of feeling stressed.

Mental health and stress is one of the most common reasons for absence in the workplace. The 2018 Wellbeing Survey from Cigna 360 reports that 87% of employees in the UK feel stressed, yet just one in 10 work somewhere that offers them a wellbeing programme.

It was really important for us to be able to highlight Stress Awareness Day and to be able to promote wellbeing in the workplace. Not only does it improve staff morale, it also increases productivity levels and greater engagement between staff and clients.

Cotton Court Director, Robert Binns, said “YOLO Wellbeing offered a completely unique way to improve workplace wellbeing and demonstrate our investment in our peoples welfare. The feedback from our clients and the staff at Cotton Court has far exceeded my expectations and I look forward to booking additional dates.”

Cotton Court client, VJ Brand from Waterbabies Lancashire said ‘ I loved the head massage and the meditation side of things where I could just relax, close my eyes, enjoy the treatment and open my mind as well. I’m ready to go, so thank you YOLO Wellbeing for a lovely massage and hopefully, you’ll be back at Cotton Court soon!’

It was a great opportunity to be able to offer this service to our clients and staff and definitely something that we would recommend to other businesses. 

If you would like your staff or your workplace to benefit from the YOLO Wellbeing Experience then visit https://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

Importance of Having a Business Address

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Starting a new business can be complicated. One of the major problems that you are most likely to face, if you are new to the business world, is that of not having an official address for all your business dealings. 

For instance, suppose you start a business selling t-shirts. Now, if a buyer wants to send you back the bought shirts or wants to exchange the size or colour of one, then having them send it back to your own home address would not only be unbefitting but would also put your own security and privacy at risk.

It is of no question that creating a professional image from the get-go is necessary, and it can be particularly challenging for home-based businesspersons. This is why now the facility of having a professional business address is available to all such working people and businesses.

Kinds Of Business Addresses 

There are three kinds of business addresses; the registered office address where official mail from the government bodies is received, the director services address which appears on the public records and the third is the virtual office address which appears to the outside world that your business operates from that address.

Importance Of Having A Business Address

 The following are some of the benefits of keeping a separate address for your work:

  • Avoid Public Disclosure Of Your Residential Address

It is not the safest choice to put your own home address as your professional work address as it discloses your personal information and makes it available to all of the public.

  • Professionalism 

A prestigious address can lend your business a sense of status. To some customers and suppliers, a professional work address could increase confidence in your brand and therefore help boost your business.

  • Privacy

As an entrepreneur, you might want to avoid having your own personal mail being addressed to you as a director of a company. If you prefer to keep your private mail away from others at work, you may prefer to have it sent to an alternative address, which is your own residential address and have your official mail sent to your business address.

  • Best Choice For Females Working Alone

Having a business address separate from your home address is the best choice for a working woman, handling a business alone. Not only does it secure her privacy but it also makes her business appear more professional, reducing the risks of her facing any kind of trouble in her work.

Having a professional address separate from your home address is important for every business owner, not only to ensure safety and privacy but also to give the business a more professional image.

LearnBox Customer Spotlight

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In this weeks ‘Company Spotlight,’ we are looking at one of our clients LearnBox. Read more about what they do and how they could help you below…

Learn Box are based at Media City on the 12th Floor in Manchester.

About Us / Our Story / Our Beginning –

LearnBox is video empowered learning, revolutionising the way education and training are delivered through the creation and delivery of high quality and bespoke video content, available on any device at any time and anywhere. 

Founded in 2016 by CEO Lucy Dunleavy, due to her frustration at the stagnant state the learner sector was in and the lack of innovative and effective methods to engage learners, innovation was the foundation of the business, and the thought process was simple:

Missions/ Values –

LearnBox disrupts the notion of tradition and instead pave the way for innovation and progression. Their forward-thinking attitude and eagerness to deliver results that encourage them to break the boundaries, and they’re determined to convince those afraid of change that the future of learning and technology can be an effective relationship, one that benefits everyone.

Through video empowered learning, they are actively investing in the skills of the future, supplying learners with the support they need to love learning.

LearnBox strive to make the learner experience engaging, enjoyable and beneficial, which is reflected through their outstanding results (Their pass-rates are well above the national average but more importantly the impact reported by learners and businesses they work with is very impressive!) LearnBox content is hosted on their multi-functional and flexible Learner Management System (LMS), which has a range of advanced features and abilities including unlimited storage, to

 allow for a full and unrestrained learning experience which the learner can be in full control of.  LearnBox doesn’t just deliver learning, they drive a learning culture.

Products and services – 

We create high-quality learning films that are learner-focused, data-driven, empowering and deliver outstanding results. Our content is available on any device, at any time, in web and app format through our intuitive and responsive learning platform. We offer a complete learning solution that empowers learners and fits around the needs of the business. Our content is personalised, bespoke and meaningful.

Contact information-

0161 4136204

Duncan.alexander@learningboxed.com  

http://www.learningboxed.com