Cotton Court Business Centre

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Northern Heart Films Customer Spotlight

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In this weeks ‘Company Spotlight,’ we are looking at one of our in house customers ‘Northern Heart Films’. Read more about what they do below…

Company name –
Northern Heart Films

Physical address per location –
Natasha and Scott joined us here at Cotton Court in February 2019. However, the company was created in January 2017

About Us / Our Story / Our Beginning –
We make films that touch the heart. At Northern Heart Films we work across a wide range of film formats which include Corporate Films, Documentaries, Shorts and Branded Content. Our work has been recognised nationally and we have won awards which include ‘Creative Award’ from Lancashire Business View Sub36 and the prestigious Royal Television Society ‘Open Award.’ The only way to make great films is to hire great storytellers and that’s why we’re here.

Missions/ Values –

We want to tell real stories that can motivate change.

 

Products and services –

We offer a film production service to make short films.

If you are in need of a helping hand with your filming then contact Northern heart Films on:

07746 310311
hello@northernheartfilms.co.uk
https://www.northernheartfilms.co.uk

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

Initiate Theatre Customer Spotlight

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In this weeks ‘Company Spotlight,’ we are looking at one of our desk space residents Initiate Theatre and what they do…

Company name –

Initiate Theatre Ltd 

Initiate Theatre joined us at Cotton Court in March 2019 after setting up in November 2018

About Us / Our Story / Our Beginning –

The company was founded by Andrew Sumner in November 2018. Initiate Theatre aims to explore your creative juices, unlock your imagination and help you to discover your potential. They create exciting Theatre, deliver quality education and training Workshops, and provide entertainment for birthday parties and events for children & adults throughout the Northwest. 

They are looking to expand as a business and take on more productions and gain more experience within different sectors. 

Team –

Products and services – 

Initiate Theatre offers a wide range of services such as workshops, performances and parties. They have received a lot of positive feedback from the services shown through the website and through social media. 

“We have just had an Afternoon Tea, where we booked our entertainment from Initiate Theatre. A young gentleman named Jack‘ came and sang for us. Jack was absolutely fabulous, he got everyone in the room, Singing, Clapping, Foot Tapping and Dancing. Highly Recommend if you have a function coming up. Easy to book through the Theatre by a gentleman named Andrew, from beginning to end of booking he was lovely and very helpful in all my needs. Jack is a lovely young man. Thank you so much Initiate Theatre”

 

If you would like to get in contact with initiate theatre call or email them on…

01772 439009

enquiries@initiatetheatre.co.uk

https://www.initiatetheatre.co.uk/

 

CompTIA Opens free IT-Ready Boot Camp At Cotton Court

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We are looking forward to hosting CompTIA and it’s tech workforce charity, Creating IT Futures eight-week information technology (IT) boot camp which is the first of its kind in the UK.  Funded in partnership with the Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership as part of the DCMS Digital Skills Innovation fund, IT-Ready will offer free technical support training to help adults launch their careers in IT.

“With more than 140,000 IT jobs open in the UK and the average IT salary being 56 percent higher than the national wage, employers need more tech workers and more workers need more opportunities,” said Charles Eaton, CEO, Creating IT Futures and vice president, social innovation, CompTIA. “With IT-Ready, we help more adults get the training they need to fill tech jobs, gain an upwardly mobile career, and earn family-sustaining wages.”

 “We are delighted to be working in partnership with DCMS to support the roll-out of the IT-Ready programme in Lancashire,” said Dr Michele Lawty-Jones, director of the Lancashire Skills Hub, Lancashire LEP.  

“The initiative, which is fully aligned with needs of local business, offers Lancashire residents a fantastic opportunity to develop their digital skills and improve their employment prospects,” Lawty-Jones added. “It’s also another great example of how the Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership, which is part of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, is raising the skills of our digital workforce to boost productivity while also driving inclusive growth across the county.”

Interested adults can visit www.creatingitfutures.org/lancashire by 16 August to enrol in the full-time, classroom-based IT-Ready boot camp classes that begin on 16 September. IT – ready primarily serves:

  • Lower-income adults due to unemployment or underemployment
  • Displaced workers whose skill sets are no longer in high demand
  • Groups under-represented in the ranks of IT workers, such as women, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities.

 

Applicants must be at least 18 years old, a UK citizen or permanent resident and have 4 GCSEs (including Maths and English) or equivalent. No prior experience in tech is necessary, but a love of technology, a strong level of commitment and a drive to succeed are extremely important. 

IT-Ready students receive free tuition, learning materials, tech and soft skills training, and certification vouchers. They learn technical skills to help them successfully pass both parts of the CompTIA A+ certification exam. Plus, students receive professional development training to refine highly sought-after business skills including communication techniques, conflict management, teamworking, critical thinking and problem-solving. Graduates are prepared to apply both technical and professional skills starting day one of their first tech job. 

Creating IT Futures developed IT-Ready in 2012, and CompTIA UK Ltd staff will work with local employers to hire IT-Ready graduates in Lancashire. Within four months of graduating, 85 percent of IT-Ready students typically are working in a paid IT role with local area companies, earning £16,000 – £18,000 annually. Graduates move into help desk tech roles, building and maintaining a business’s IT environment and assisting its internal and external customers.  

Applicants should apply by 16 August at www.creatingitfutures.org/lancashire. Employers interested in hiring the applicants in November should contact Zeshan Sattar of CompTIA UK Ltd at zsattar@comptia.org

About Creating IT Futures
Creating IT Futures is a 501(c)(3) charity with the mission of helping populations under-represented in the information technology industry and individuals who are lacking in opportunity to prepare for, secure, and be successful in IT careers. Learn more at www.creatingITfutures.org.  

About CompTIA

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a leading voice and advocate for the $5 trillion global information technology ecosystem; and the more than 50 million industry and tech professionals who design, implement, manage, and safeguard the technology that powers the world’s economy. Through education, training, certifications, advocacy, philanthropy, and market research, CompTIA is the hub for advancing the tech industry and its workforce. Visit www.comptia.org to learn more.

 

Top 5 Tips to Make your Company Look Bigger

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Large corporations enjoy different benefits over smaller start-ups. Companies with major brands have established reputations, reduced operating costs and massive advertising budgets that garner significant media attention. If you’re an entrepreneur with a small startup, competing with multinational companies is challenging.

It’s essential to keep in mind that these multi-billion dollar enterprises once started out small and humble, overtime they offered products and services that exceed customer expectations, which led them to dominate industries.

 

If your customers love your products or services then you are on the right track. To start making revenues like a multinational it’s essential to make your small business look like a huge corporation. Here’s a quick guide on how to make your small business look big.

Get a Professional Website

Consider your website as the main portal between you and your prospects. If the website is dull, boring, slow and filled with filler content then your premium products or service cannot save you! Your potential customers will take a lot from your unprofessional website. To make your small business appear like a multinational then invest in a professional website designing service to get a corporate website with quality content that converts your visitors to customers.

Phone Answering Service

Nothing is more annoying for any potential customer than hearing a polite and professional “hello” when they call your company for a query or complaint. You will need to invest in a dedicated telephone number and call/text handling services to cater to all your internal and external communication needs. For any new business owner installing a powerful and efficient phone handling system should be a priority. A smartphone system with a business phone number will give your small company a chance to appear much bigger by having a reception team that manages your calls.

Have Larger Invoice Numbers

When you work with a bigger invoice number, it indicates that you have a lot of business transaction to complete each day. When a customer sees a larger invoice number has a positive impact on your credibility as compared to typing 20 or 30 on your invoice, which clearly indicates you’re a new start-up business. A corporate phone, registered address, and website will offer the much-needed business support that your small business needs. It makes your job as a business owner much easier allowing you the freedom to work from anywhere in the world.

Be Active on Social Media

You won’t need a hefty advertising budget to promote your business over the internet. Use Google Ads, Facebook Ads and other Instagram and social media advertising agencies to promote your content for you. Having a social media platform gives access to millions of customers

who are interested in the product or service you offer. If they see that you are active on Facebook and have, a lot following then chances are that you will double your earnings with correct social media marketing strategy. Social media presence is essential for business growth and development.

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.

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 are 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.

Here at Cotton Court we are entering a team of around 15 people, made up of staff and customer including 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

 

Competition winner launches the first mobile self storage unit of it’s kind!

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Unique Delivery Service Promises Huge Time Savings for Self-Storage Users.

ONE-OF-A-KIND, self-loading trailers are set to offer big time savings to self-storage users, as disruptive new Preston firm sets for launch. 

Craig Wilson of Blox Mobile Storage won the Cotton Court Start Up Competition back in May, a testament to the innovative concept of Blox and Craig’s passion and determination for his product. 

BLOX is launching 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 hopes to cure some long-standing headaches for storage users, who until now have had to rely on van hire or incur costly labour charges when moving belongings into storage, as well as having to unpack and re-pack their items once at the store.

BLOX is the brainchild of a former Royal Marine turned Transport Manager and will initially be operating from Higher Walton Mill near Preston and servicing the Preston, Blackburn and Chorley areas.

BLOX founder, Craig Wilson said;

“I was helping somebody move home a couple of years ago and I thought how good it would be if there was a service that delivered and collected large storage containers directly to the customer.

I did a lot of research and found that similar services held large shares of the market overseas in the likes of the U.S. and Australia, but nobody offered quite the same thing here in the U.K.  

The idea turned in

to a bit of an obsession and developed over the next two to three years until I eventually came up with my current vision of Blox. 

I think that the concept has massive potential and can save individuals and businesses a huge amount of their valuable time.”

Robert Binns of Cotton Court said ;

“Myself and the rest of the panel recognised a lot of entrepreneurial qualities in Craig which are crucial when launching a business that is offering a game changing product.  We are excited about being part of Craig’s journey as Blox Storage launches and looking forward to another Cotton Court client success story!”

Blox will be offering their convenient storage solution from the beginning of July, with delivery charges generally being cheaper than equivalent van hire from any major provider and storage prices in-line with the lower end of self-storage facilities. 

Individuals or businesses that are interested in Blox  service can get in touch via https://bloxstorage.co.uk/  or find out more by following their social media.

 

 

Sell-Out Flag Market Event a Quadruple Win for clients Invoke Media

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Invoke Media celebrate collaborative success of landmark local event

Preston based marketing agency Invoke Media are celebrating a quadruple win after last week’s successful Prestfest event on Preston Flag Market.

The annual event is organised by the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce’s Preston Business Improvement District (BID), with the intent of bringing thousands of party goers into the city centre to stimulate the night-time economy & celebrate the coveted purple flag accreditation.

This year’s sell-out event has surpassed all previous years in terms of attendance, economic impact and customer feedback.

The planning and execution of the event has been led by Preston BID, alongside a careful selection of expert providers from the Preston and Central Lancashire area. 

Invoke saw three of its key clients involved in the event. Preston BID as the event organiser, Get Staffed providing the bar and hospitality team, and UK Media & Events as the event management and production agency. 

In addition to client involvement, Invoke Media took the marketing lead for the event for the third year running, providing paid social advertisements, messenger marketing, live video streams and overall marketing consultancy & support; helping Preston BID sell 95% of its online tickets before the event.

Jack Barron, Director of Invoke Media said:

“It’s one of those rare occasions where we get to collaborate with multiple key clients on the same project. It was a great experience to work with like-minded people, each an expert in their own field, to put together an excellent event that has driven thousands of people into the city centre. Our involvement and that of three key clients makes this a quadruple win for us and extremely satisfying.”

He continued:

“The main reason we moved Invoke Media to Preston from Manchester was to support and be a part of the development & investment that is happening in our city, my hometown. It’s events like this, local collaboration and hard-working organisations like Preston BID that are driving growth and making us a true contender in the region, we can’t wait until next year”

Mark Whittle, Manager of Preston BID said:

“Preston BID worked with a close-knit team of local trusted businesses, to plan and execute our most successful event to date. By working with Preston businesses we’ve not only ensured a sell-out, well-run event; we’ve fed back into the local economy and supported chamber members.“

Further Information

Invoke Media is a marketing agency based at Preston’s Cotton Court Business Centre. Incorporated as a limited company in 2013 and operating from Manchester city centre, it returned to Preston in summer of 2018 to support the development of the city and local area. 

Working with local success stories such as the San Marco Group, GetStaffed, Baluga Bar & Club, Cotton Court Business Centre and the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, they have truly ingrained themselves in the local economy and the success stories it creates.

Lancashire Business Awards 2019!

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We had a great night last Thursday at Stanley House Hotel and Spa celebrating the 11th annual Lancashire Business Awards hosted by Downtown in Business! 

Robert and Rochelle had a great night, but what made it even better was the people they got to share it with!

Janette Healey – Growth Co 

Andrew Woolley – Growth Co 

Heather Waters – Natwest Bank 

Phil Griffiths – Face to Face Service Solutions

Ishmael Bahadur – Bahadvr Synergy Holdings

Steph Harding – Wallace Digital Ltd

Mark Williams – Western Union Business Solutions

 

Our MD Robert Binns was proud to present the award for Customer Focused Business of the Year 2019 to Everything Tech! 

Congratulations to all of the winners showing yet again that Lancashire is home to many successful businesses and entrepreneurs. 

The winners of the night included:

Male Networker of the Year 2019 //Sam Whitear, Business Lancashire

Female Networker of the Year 2019 // Victoria O’Connor, Reed

Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 // Anastasia Kenyon, Kandi Cosmetics

Employer of the Year 2019 // Fresh Perspective Resourcing

Employee of the Year 2019 // Loredana Emmerson, Coolkit Ltd

Newcomer of the Year 2019 // Sales Geek

Creative Business of the Year 2019 // Media Village

Social Media Marketer of the Year 2019 // Rebecca Jane, PH7 Group

Corporate Social Responsibility 2019 // Lantei Compliance

Legal Company of the Year 2019 // Harrison Drury Solicitors

Financial Services Firm of the Year 2019 // Champion Accountants

Business Bank of the Year 2019 // Natwest

Property Business of the Year 2019 // Eric Wright Group

Recruitment Company of the Year 2019 // Laura Hartley Recruitment Ltd

Customer Focused Business of the Year 2019 // Everything Tech

Hospitality Venue of the Year 2019 // 1842 Restaurant & Bar

Hotel of the Year 2019 // The Villa Wrea Green

Business Enabler of the Year 2019 // Neil Welsh, PM+M Accountants

Business of the year 2019 // Seafood Pub Company

Contribution to Lancashire  // Lancashire Business View

Chief Executive’s Award  // Conlon Construction