Cotton Court Business Centre


Cotton Court partners with Howdan Marketing to offer small business marketing courses

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Following a successful trial workshop, we are pleased to announce that we will be working alongside Howdan Marketing to deliver a full 12 month programme of marketing courses for small businesses.  Our first session is on Monday 28th April, and they will be held monthly on the last Monday of each month.


Our intention is to provide marketing training for small businesses that  focuses on low cost means of promoting your business – so big budgets are not required!

Many businesses confuse marketing with advertising or selling, when in fact there are lots of other ways of promoting your business. The courses will train you in how to raise awareness, use email marketing services and social media which won’t cost you a penny. And once you have researched your market and targeted your prospects, you will find you don’t need to spend nearly as much on other marketing materials.

You will learn about:
Your target market
Social media
Your website
Email marketing
Press coverage

You will also receive material to take away with you so you always have a guide.

More information will soon be available on our event pages. 

Merry Christmas, Derian House!

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On Monday 16th December Amy, Jon and Abbie delivered all the presents donated by our clients at the Christmas Party to Derian House.

We were given a tour of the facilities by Jill Kirkam, Community Fundraiser, and learned in more detail about the services and Care Derian House offer to children, young people and their families.

Amy Abbie Jon Derian House

Derian House is renowned throughout the region as being at the forefront of children’s palliative and respite care.

Families who have a child with a life shortening condition can choose from a range of care and support services to meet their individual needs which include; short planned breaks in Derian House, Hospice at Home, sibling support group, end of life care and support at home, or in Derian House, and bereavement support after the death of a child.

They currently support more than 300 families who have a child with a life shortening illness, and a further 200 who are receiving bereavement support. For them Derian House is the means by which they deal with the highs and lows of their child’s illness and its aftermath.

Roya Armstrong from Derian House said;

‘We are truly overwhelmed by all the gifts we received from Cotton Court and are extremely grateful to all those who donated. It’s people like these who keep the hospice going as we rely heavily on public donations here at Derian House. The presents have been distributed amongst the children already and have gone down an absolute storm!’

We would like to wish all the staff, children and young people at Derian House a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at Cotton Court!

Cotton Court Christmas Party in Aid of Derian House

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On Friday 6th December it was the annual Cotton Court Christmas Party held at Glovers bar. There was a great party atmosphere, with around 150 people in attendance, and it was great to see so many familiar faces.

The team at Cotton Court would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that attended and made the night so enjoyable, and an even bigger thank you to everyone for the amount of gifts that were brought for the children of Derian House, our chosen charity.

We offered guests a free bar, buffet and live music and asked them in return to bring a gift for Derian House.

xmas party

Derian House is renowned throughout the region as being at the forefront of children’s palliative and respite care. Families who have a child with a life shortening condition can choose from a range of care and support services to meet their individual needs which include; short planned breaks in Derian House, Hospice at Home, sibling support group, end of life care and support at home, or in Derian House, and bereavement support after the death of a child.

Derian House are currently supporting more than 300 families who have a child with a life shortening illness, and a further 200 who are receiving bereavement support. For them Derian House is the means by which they deal with the highs and lows of their child’s illness and its aftermath.

You can find out more about the work of Derian House on their website or by following them on Twitter @derianhouse.


Finally, we would also like to say thank you to Daisy and the team from Fanakis, who provided the catering, Saraban, the band, who kept our audience entertained; and to Chelsea and all the staff at Glovers bar for looking after us and making sure the event was a success.

We are continuing to support Derian House, and Christmas Beanie toys can be purchased from Cotton Court reception, with all proceeds going to our chosen charity.


Best of UCLan Event

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On Thursday 5th December, we were pleased to attend a prestigious event at UCLan, ‘the Best of UCLan’

More than 300 guests, including business contacts, educational partners and even Nigerian royalty attended the University of Central Lancashire’s first ever ‘Best of UCLan’ event.


Locally-based guests included mayors and from across the region, Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, as well as UCLan Honorary Fellows such as chef Paul Heathcote and rugby league legend Ellery Hanley.

Taking place on the evening of Tuesday and coinciding with the official inauguration of UCLan’s new Vice-Chancellor Professor Gerry Kelleher, the event gave a real flavour of research and teaching taking place across the University.

Prior to an inauguration dinner, guests mingled on a ‘show floor’ which featured examples of teaching and research, business interaction and student-centred initiatives from across the University.

During a speech prior the dinner, Vice-Chancellor Kelleher said: “Five months is a relatively short time in the life of a Vice-Chancellor but I’ve made it a priority to get out amongst the university community and meet as many people as possible.

“I have been extremely impressed by the university’s strong research and teaching culture and this has been brought to life through the show floor event.

“We should be very proud that we have research taking place here which is internationally recognised and in some cases world-leading.

“Our work with NASA, our health research in the areas such as cancer, stroke and childbirth, and our collaborative research partnerships with the likes of BAE Systems, Samsung and the National Nuclear Laboratory, to name just a few, will inform our future teaching curriculum and give our graduates the ideal platform to fulfil their career ambitions.”

“Producing graduates to meet skills needs locally, nationally and internationally is something I am very passionate about. As an institution we cannot afford to stand still. We need to be looking at current, future and longer term skills needs. We are undertaking extensive market research in this area at the moment, to help inform us of where we should be concentrating our energies.

“For instance, our future energy security, or lack of it, is increasingly coming under the spotlight and that is why we have just developed new programmes in oil and gas engineering.

“We are launching a new suite of digital design courses because in the North West the creative industries add hugely to our economic output. Our business incubation facility within our media factory has been responsible for much of the region’s expertise in this area.”

*Courtesy of Lancashire Evening Post

Remploy’s Disability Awareness Day at Cotton Court

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Our clients, Remploy, held an open day here at Cotton Court on Tuesday 3rd December  to celebrate Disability Awareness Day. International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is a United Nations sanctioned day that aims to promote an understanding of people with disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being.

Remploy are based here at Cotton Court and they are one of the UK’s leading providers of employment services to people experiencing complex barriers to work. They do this by working with many employers to support disabled people into jobs in mainstream employment.

The event was an open day in which they gave their partners the opportunity to showcase and discuss opportunities and services they can provide for people with disabilities.


Companies that exhibited at the event included:

Lancashire Adult Learning

Dyslexia Association

Diabetes Forum

Advocacy Plus

Help Direct

Combat Stress




Susan and the team from Remploy were also on hand to provide additional support and advice to attendees.

If you know someone with a health problem or disability who may need help and support to get back to work, please visit



Lancashire County Council Business Growth Events at Cotton Court

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Last month at Cotton Court saw two successful information session events run by Lancashire County Council. On 14th November there was an event with One Connect Limited aimed at private sector companies who wish to recruit young people or offer work placements.

Attendees listened to speakers from the Future Horizons team, the National Apprenticeship Service and local businesses that have taken on apprentices.   A number of the companies that attended the event have already arranged interviews with candidates. If you were unable to attend this event, but are looking to expand your team and would like more information please visit the the Future Horizons website.

On Thursday 21st November, we hosted an information session with Boost Business Lancashire, where creative industries could find out more about programmes they could access to help their business to grow.

2013-11-21 18.16.43

Guest speakers included:

Paul Billington (Cowperstone): Cowperstone is consultancy created to help business owners passionate about growth and change.

Damian Baetens (Transmit) Transmit Consulting is partnered with the Start-Up-Loan Company to deliver a national initiative launched by the Government and James Caan initially to help people aged 18-30 to get their creative business off the ground.

The event attracted around 50 attendees which comprised of local SMEs and start-ups. The discussions were led by Ruth Raban, Director of Creative Lancashire and featured an interesting Q&A session.

To keep up-to-date with other events at Cotton Court, you can subscribe to our newsletter or check our events section.


Cotton Court at the Lancashire Tourism Awards

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On Thursday 7 November 2013, Blackburn Cathedral proved the perfect setting for Marketing Lancashire’s 10th annual Lancashire Tourism Awards, where 20 of the county’s finest tourism businesses were awarded for excellence in their field and recognised by an audience of over 400 industry colleagues and sponsors.

The award sponsor who supported the awards were: Dewlay Cheese Makers, Group Travel Organiser Magazine, Insight With Passion, Intersys Micronics, Lancashire Walks and Wildlife Magazine, Napthens Solicitors, Northern Print Distribution, Pannone, Total Food Service, Workhouse Marketing.

The awards ceremony was hosted by Simon Calder, Senior Travel Editor of The Independent, TV and radio broadcaster, who provided an entertaining and witty introduction to the main presentations, following a Lancashire inspired three-course dinner created by Blackburn-based caterers With A Twist. Award-winning Lancashire cheesemaker Dewlay, provided one of the ingredients for the menu, as well as a three tier celebration cheese-cake to mark the 10th anniversary which, along with special beer from Blackburn brewers Thwaites, was offered to guests on arrival at the drinks reception.
Guests also enjoyed live music entertainment from Blackburn and Darwen Brass Band, and the Lancashire Jazz Youth Orchestra.

Ruth Connor, Chief Executive of Marketing Lancashire commented  “Tourism is of vital importance to the economic good health of Lancashire and our finalists and winners are at the forefront of a drive to improve the industry’s current £3.4billion contribution to the visitor economy, which Marketing Lancashire will proudly continue to lead and develop, through creative partnerships and strategic and ambitious marketing.”

This year’s awards ceremony was the biggest to date, with more categories, more applications and more finalists than ever before.

Courtesy of

We would like to congratulate the winners from our table, Robert and Anne Gardner from Bleasedale Cottages, who picked up the award for the Green Tourism category.

For more photos from the event, please visit the Visit Lancashire Facebook page 



The Winners of the Lancashire Tourism Awards 2013:

B&B/Guest Accommodation Award *

Broadgate Farm B&B, Preston

The Cartford Inn, Little Eccleston – WINNER

The Castle Inn, Hornby

Mode, Lytham St Annes

Park House B&B, Gisburn


Small Hotel Award *

Briar Dene Hotel, Blackpool

Farington Lodge Hotel, Leyland

The Spread Eagle, Sawley

The Stirk House Hotel, Gisburn – WINNER


Large Hotel Award *

Elgin Hotel, Blackpool

Holiday Inn Express Burnley – WINNER

Holiday Inn Preston

Preston Marriott Hotel


Holiday Park Award *

Bay View Holiday Park, Bolton le Sands – WINNER

Claylands Park, Garstang

Hackings Caravan Park, Clitheroe

Marton Mere Holiday Village, Blackpool

Windy Harbour Holiday Park, Nr Blackpool


Self Catering Award *

Canal Boat Cruises, Hoghton – WINNER

Marton Mere Holiday Village, Blackpool

Parrock Lumb Cottages, Bacup

Pattys Farm Barn, Lancaster

Queens Mansions, Blackpool


Green Tourism Award *

Best Western Mytton Fold Hotel & Golf Complex, Blackburn

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Bleasdale Cottages – WINNER

Cuffe & Taylor Event Management Ltd, Lytham St Annes

Hackings Caravan Park, Clitheroe

Sea Life Blackpool

The Stirk House Hotel, Gisburn

WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Burscough


Conference/Meeting Venue Award *

Blackpool Zoo

Brockholes, Preston – WINNER

Cotton Court Business Centre, Preston


Wedding Venue Award – new category 2013

Bashall Barn, Clitheroe

Best Western Mytton Fold Hotel & Golf Complex, Blackburn

Browsholme Tithe Barn, Clitheroe

Canal Boat Cruises, Hoghton

Eaves Hall, Clitheroe – WINNER

Farington Lodge Hotel, Leyland

Mitton Hall, Nr Clitheroe

Ribby Hall Village Business and Banqueting, Wrea Green

Samlesbury Hall, Samlesbury

Stanley House Hotel & Spa, Blackburn

West Tower, Ormskirk

Wyrebank Banqueting Suite, Preston


Luxury Experience Award – new category 2013

Breck Apartments, Poulton le Fylde

Queens Mansions, Blackpool

The SPA Hotel at Ribby Hall Village, Wrea Green – WINNER

The Woodland Spa, Burnley


Taste Lancashire Award *

The Castle Inn, Hornby

Heathcotes Brasserie, Preston

La Locanda Ristorante Italiano, Gisburn

The Oyster and Otter, Blackburn

The Parkers Arms, Clitheroe – WINNER

Quite Simply French, Lancaster

The Red Cat, Chorley

Samlesbury Hall, Samlesbury

The Stirk House Hotel, Gisburn

Toast Cafe Bar & Grill, Blackpool


Tourism Pub Award *

The Assheton Arms, Clitheroe – WINNER

The Cartford Inn, Little Eccleston

The Parkers Arms, Clitheroe

The Sparrowhawk, Burnley


Cultural Venue/Organisation Award – new category 2013*

Horse & Bamboo Theatre, The Boo,  Waterfoot

Chorley Little Theatre

The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster – WINNER

Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool

Pendle Sculpture Trail

The Whitaker Museum and Art Gallery, Rossendale


Best for Groups Award – new category 2013

Blackpool Pleasure Beach – WINNER

Brockholes, Preston

Canal Boat Cruises, Hoghton

Lancaster Canal Boats

WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Burscough


Small Visitor Attraction Award *

Canal Boat Cruises, Hoghton

Carnforth Station Heritage Centre

Go Ape, Rivington

The Grand, Clitheroe

Lancaster Canal Boats – WINNER

Pendle Sculpture Trail

Queen Street Mill Textile Museum, Burnley

Samlesbury Hall, Samlesbury


Spotlight Daniel Fisher

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Daniel Fisher Howdan Marketing

Name: Daniel Fisher

Business: Howdan Marketing
Twitter: @danfis

  1. In one sentence what do you do? Raise awareness and drive traffic to websites
  2. What was your first job? My first ‘proper’ job was a Data Analyst at Blackburn Rovers Football Club. Technically my first job was working as a paper boy at 13.
  3. Biggest ambition? To own a castle in Scotland
  4. Proudest moment in the last year? Business wise it is being nominated for Digital Agency of the year alongside other brilliant agencies, Personally I am very family orientated so it would be my niece getting landing role to perform in a large show.
  5. Favourite quote? Always make sure the juice is worth the squeeze
  6. Tea or Coffee? Tea
  7. Favourite place to eat in Lancashire? Pond or Checcos
  8. First CD/record you bought? Savage Garden
  9. What’s your favourite TV show? Suits / Big Bang Theory / Vampire Diaries (yes that is a bit sad)
  10. If you were an animal what would you be? A dolphin as they are intelligent animals and I would swim around the world.

Cotton Court partners with Preston College to deliver social media success

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We are pleased to announce that we have recently partnered with Preston College to deliver social media courses for their students. The first series of courses aim to teach students that are looking for an apprenticeship about online employability and social media success.

social media workshop

Social media is becoming a central part of recruitment and employers are becoming switched on to using social media channels to source candidates. Social media allows job seekers to job search, and build recommendations and connections into an online CV.  Over 86% of job seekers have a social media profile and around 50% of people in Britain are now using social media in their job search. The students from Preston College are learning how to do this effectively and gain a competitive advantage.

Key Findings from a study into a social media recruiting survey by

  • The average British adult is connected to 300 relevant, open job vacancies through their first and second degree connections on social networks.
  • Over 90% of large UK employers are now using social media to find staff. Big companies such as Google, Amazon & eBay have been leveraging social media to find staff for some time now, but the last 12 months has seen an explosion in the number of “non-tech” companies using social media to find staff. Companies such as AstraZeneca, Saatchi and Saatchi and hotel chain Hilton have all launched Facebook groups to increase the rate of job referrals for potential candidates. Marriott International even created a Facebook game to help fill vacancies in 2011.
  • While Linkedin is generally seen as “the” place to go for professional networking, job seekers in the UK would rather leverage their Facebook (43%) than Linkedin (22%) networks to find their dream job.


Recruiters and employers think LinkedIn is a great way of finding candidates. LinkedIn is a huge database and by using relevant key words they can quickly find the people they need so job seekers must consider what their profile says about them. Becoming established on LinkedIn can be tricky for job seekers with little or no experience or industry contacts, but this is an area in which students will look at on the course.

If you have not considered the use of social media in your job search then you may be disadvantaging yourself, as recruiters are using social media to reach out to ‘passive talent’ – people that may otherwise not apply.

The way in which people look for work has changed dramatically and this course aims improve job seeker’s presence to help you get their dream job.  Attendees learn how to make their online profiles more attractive to employers, ensuring that employees find out everything they  want them to but nothing they don’t and how to use social media to get that interview and get that job.

Breathe Nominated for the National Diversity Awards 2013

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Well done to our Clients, Breathe, who have been nominated for the national Diversity Awards 2013.  This guest blog by Breathe’s Samera tells us more about the awards and Breathe’s achievements:

We are so thrilled to hear that we have been nominated for this year’s National Diversity award!!

The award is a national recognised prestigious black tie event that celebrates and recognises the hard work and dedication of organisations that tackle the issues in today’s society, on a daily basis.

It is a real privilege to see that we have been nominated this year for Diversity in the workplace as it was only last year Shelley Perry the clinical director of Breathe Eating Disorder Service/S.E.E.D was in the top three nominees for Entrepreneurs of Excellence in the category for gender.

As we are in the early stages of the award process our next step is to answer a series of questions which will be scored and ranked. The nominees with the highest ranking will be short-listed for the top three; this is then decided upon the number of votes we receive before the winner is announced.

So for now, let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope we can prove and show what a passionate hard-working team we are! Share your support with us and wish us lots of luck. Watch this space, and stay updated with our award journey.

Breathe for the National Diversity Awards 2013

Just to give you an update of the National Diversity Awards, gather everyone you know and follow the links below as you can potentially be helping us to be shortlisted for the award!!

Please vote for us to be shortlisted for a National Diversity Award

Go to  > Nominate Here > Diverse Companies #DiverseCompanyAward

Spread the word and show us your support. Lets get cracking and see how far we can get..Thank you !!

 national diversity