Cotton Court Business Centre

Business

PENNY HOWARD – WOW! TIME FLIES AT COTTON COURT

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A year ago today, I started working at Cotton Court as a Receptionist/ business admin apprentice.

In the past year I have learnt new skills to do with administration, customer service and business operations. I am hoping to learn more about the financial side of things, like invoices and billing.

At the moment, the main jobs I do day to day include receptionist duties like call answering, mail handling, and greeting customers, sorting out the office and studio admin and also checking the conference rooms when they are in use.

I like being part of the Cotton Court team because it is a great place to work as it always has a nice atmosphere, whoever is in the building. I especially like doing the administration in the office and answering the phones as well, whether it’s for Cotton Court, or for other businesses.

Currently, I am completing my Level 2 apprenticeship course, and I am also considering moving onto Level 3 in October.

I love working in business, so in the future I am hoping to pursue working in a business environment, like being a personal assistant for someone.

BIBAs WINNER ANNOUCED AT CELEBRATION IN BLACKPOOL

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Winners at the annual Be Inspired Business Awards (BIBAs) were revealed in a ceremony at Blackpool Tower. Around 1,000 delegates attended the event hosted by actress Stephanie Beacham.

Winners:
Lancastrian of the Year

Winner: Ian Hall, chairman, James Hall and Co.

 

Most Inspiring Business of the Year:

Winner: Jobs, Friends & Houses Community Interest Company, Blackpool

Finalists:

Build Up, Blackpool

Conlon Construction, South Ribble

Fylde Executive Cars, Fylde

KTG Social Care, Preston

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Preston

Our Local Heros Foundation, South Ribble

Windrush Initiatives CIC, Preston

 

Exporter of the Year:

Winner: Evans Vanodine, South Ribble

Finalists:

Chemical Innovations,South Ribble

Colossal Group, Blackpool

Excel Cheer Centre, Chorley

GA Petfood, South Ribble

Pakawaste, Preston

Scorpion Automotive, Chorley

Synergy Health (UK), Chorley

 

Small Business of the Year:

Winner: Power Efficient Systems (EnergyAce), West Lancashire

Finalists:

Business Insight 3 (Bi3), Chorley

Building Careers, West Lancashire

Excel Fostering, Fylde

Forepoint, Preston

Innova Solutions, Pendle

MendIT, Burnley

Vedas Group, Burnley

 

Medium Business of the Year:

Winner: ROQ IT, Chorley

Finalists:

MAC Clinical Research, Blackpool

Direct 365, West Lancashire

Lakeview Rest homes, Fylde

Scorpion Automotive, Chorley

Service Care Solutions, Preston

Star Tissue UK , Blackburn

The Cartford Inn, Wyre

 

Service Business of the Year:

Winner: Cleanall Services, South Ribble

Finalists:

Colossal Group, Blackpool

Excel Fostering, Fylde

Lakeview Rest Homes, Fylde

Our Local Heroes Foundation, South Ribble

Pakawaste, Preston

ROQ IT, Chorley

Springhill Care, Hyndburn

 

Professional Services Business of the Year:

Winner: Physiofusion Ltd, Burnley

Finalists:

Barcadia Media, Blackpool

Bespoke Internet, Preston

Farleys Solicitors LLP, Blackburn

FTS Merit, Blackpool

Home Angels, Chorley

MJH Accountants , Preston

TUTIS Concepts, Blackpool

 

Micro Business of the Year:

Winner: GROUP55, Ribble Valley

Finalists:

Bizzi Growin, Chorley

Blackburn Distributions, Pendle

Gconnect, Lancaster

Love Displays, Blackpool

QiSOFT, South Ribble

The Ink Squid, Blackpool

The Little Big Voice, Preston

 

Entrepreneur of the Year:

Winner: Phil Lawson, Virtue Technologies, West Lancashire

Finalists:

Lee Kirton, Collosal Group, Blackpool

Nicolla Moran, Home Angels, Chorley

Anthony Payne, Love My Gifts, Blackburn

Hannah Warren, Oxygen Personnel, Preston

Gary Vizard, Power Efficient Systems Ltd (EnergyAce), West Lancashire

Steve Pearson, Our Local Heroes Foundation, South Ribble

Adrian Meakin, The Ink Squid, Blackpool

 

Business of the Year:

Winner: Danbro, Fylde

Finalists:

Chemical Innovations, South Ribble

Cleanall Services, South Ribble

Conlon Construction, South Ribble

Gold Medal Travel Group, Preston

Scorpion Automotive, Chorley

Springhill Care, Hyndburn

Warden Construction, Fylde

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New Business of the Year:

Winner: KaBo, Chorley

Finalists:

Astute Motoring, Wyre

JCK Professional Building Services, Blackburn

Love My Gifts, Blackburn

Rope Access Inspection – North West, Blackpool

The Property Family, South Ribble

TUTIS Concepts, Blackpool

World Travel Lounge, Blackpool

 

Best Use of Information Technology:

Winner: Direct 365, West Lancashire

Finalists:

Virtue Technologies, West Lancashire

ROQ IT , Chorley

MendIT, Burnley

The Ink Squid, Blackpool

Business Insight 3 (Bi3), Chorley

Blackburn Distribution, Pendle

Love My Gifts, Blackburn

 

Employer of the Year:

Winner: Gold Medal Travel Group, Preston

Finalists:

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Preston

Danbro, Fylde

Service Care Solutions, Preston

Cleanall Services, South Ribble

Direct 365, West Lancashire

Cummins Mellor, Hyndburn

Innova Solutions, Pendle

 

Best Use of Creativity in a Business:

Winner: Bizzi Growin, Chorley

Finalists:

Business Insight 3 (Bi3), Chorley

G A Petfoods. South Ribble

Inside Studio, Preston

Knightime Creations, Lancaster

Little Gargoyle, Lancaster

The Little Big Voice, Preston

WUK Media, Lancaster

 

Excellence in Customer Service:

Winner: Cleanall Services, South Ribble

Finalists:

AM Support Services, Morecambe

Direct 365, West Lancashire

Innova Solutions, Pendle

Springhill Care, Hyndburn

TVS, Chorley

Wyrebank, Wyre

EQ Woman, Ribble Valley

 

Business Woman of the Year:

Winner: Louise Wilkinson, Lomeshaye Village Day Nursery / Carousel, Pendle

Finalists:

Hannah Warren, Oxygen Personnel

Helen Harker, Simon Jersey, Hyndburn

Lisa Brady-Munro, Perfect Recruitment, Chorley

Niccolla Moran, Home Angels, Chorley

Rose Watkins, Centaur Training, South Ribble

Ruth Quaglieri, North of England Training, Chorley

Tamsin Marlowe, Building Careers, West Lancashire

 

Leisure Business of the Year:

Winner: The Cartford Inn, Fylde

Finalists:

Blackpool Zoo, Blackpool

Catering Elite, Blackpool

Fylde Executive Cars, Fylde

Little Gargoyle, Lancaster

Preston Marriott, Preston

Wyrebank, Wyre

 

Manufacturer of the Year:

Winner: Scorpion Automotive, Chorley

Finalists:

Chemical Innovations, South Ribble

GA Petfoods, South Ribble

Pakawaste, Preston

Power Efficient Systems, West Lancashire

Star Tissue UK, Blackburn

Tetrad, Preston

 

Construction Business of the Year:

Winner: Conlon Construction, South Ribble

Finalists:

Approved Inspectors, Lancaster

Build Up, Blackpool

Building Careers, West Lancashire

FTS Merit, Blackpool

JCK Professional Building Services, Blackburn

Pinington, Lancaster

Warden Construction, Fylde

GUEST BLOG: DOUG MELIA – SAFER HANDLING

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Have I got human rights for you

The thing about Human Rights is it protects humans. That means everybody…  not merely the people the Tories deci de are human. – Marcus Chown

The newly installed government are looking at replacing the existing Human Rights Act. You can’t avoid reading about this, it ‘s everywhere we look.

So what’s it all about? Is the HRA as the media often portrays it a “Villain’s charter” a ‘Get out of jail free card’ for the twenty tens?’  Well not really, rights of humans aren’t a new thing, the individual rights of people here in England originate back to the signing of Magna Carta some 800 years ago at Runnymede by Richard the Lion-heart. Since then we have seen the modern Human Rights legislation passed following the atrocities of the Second World War and the HRA as we know it receiving royal ascent here to allow us to try cases on UK soil in 1998.

Human rights information which often interlaces my presentations has all been gathered from reliable sources, published works and the newspapers.

Thanks has to go as far as legitimate resources are concerned to Edexcel’s brilliant qualification based learning on the Use of force, vast  input from my mentor on the subject of the use of force Mark Dawes, and my bedfellows and driving companions; Michael Mansfield QC, Professor Gary Slapperand the world renowned human rights lawyer John Wadham  (Amazon, iTunes and Waterstones receipts are entirely legitimate and tax deductible business expenses).

Answering queries on self-defence, pupil restraint, the searching of prisoners and which holds are safe to use with the infirm or vulnerable has over the years become a bit of a speciality for me.

“Do certain types of restraint amount to torture?” or, “If we do defend ourselves against an attacker and they are injured, then
have we breached his or her human rights?

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Questions like these are brilliant introductions which immediately seize the attention of others in the group. This allows me a public platform (something which the new charter aims to restrict further) to convey, in a language which frontline people, management & health and safety professionals alike can understand, the ways in which the law can be interpreted. Regularly I find immense job satisfaction when I can see that by passing on this information, people are empowered in their job-roles, enlightened with the facts and more often than not along the way I find I dispel a few myths, misconceptions and well, massive untruths.

Within this short 11 minute video which I have taken from a seminar I delivered at Cheshire Police HQ earlier this year is my interpretation of the HRA in relation to restraint and the use of force in general. Absolute and qualified rights are explained and without these safeguards in place I do worry if the interests of the vulnerable will be prioritised in this new charter at all.

Surely before a complete repeal, it would make sense to weigh up the alternatives, the motives for the choices that have been made and their associated consequences? Is there actually anything wrong with the law? Wouldn’t it make sense first to consider implementing;

A better awareness of the law within counter-terror, the police and in government departments, both central and local?
Improved information sharing and communication channels between these departments?
Let’s say we don’t? We give the cold shoulder to Europe and we blank a constitution, established over centuries which has been built on the sacrifices of others. Turning on our heels we throw it all away and get the first bus home? Well for the children, elderly and vulnerable members of society, it could be a long, scary walk back to say the least.

office environment is more important than you think

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When workers talk about their ideal job, they’re usually concerned with two main concepts: the pay and the people. But there’s a third that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves, and it’s one that can have a profound effect on your business and its workforce: the place. No one wants to spend forty hours a week in a windowless dungeon, shuffling across a grey carpet from one grey cubicle to the next. And if businesses don’t start to realise the value that their workers put on their environment, they may struggle to attract and retain the best staff.

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Recent research from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found that nearly half of the UK’s workers want upgrades to the properties they work in – and that a team’s surroundings can have a huge impact on how they feel about their job.

“With numerous industries currently fighting a war for talent, capable staff and skilled new joiners are like gold-dust for many companies,” says Paul Bagust, UK Commercial Property Director for RICS. “On that basis, businesses should be doing everything possible to recruit and retain the best people.”

“It’s disappointing, therefore, that many employers seem to be under-estimating – or perhaps not realising – the power of property in motivating, attracting and keeping staff. A well-constructed, designed and utilised office or workplace can pay huge dividends for the business that inhabits it.”

We took a look at a few of the highlights from the study: how your office can affect your workforce, and what the UK’s employees really want from a modern workplace.

The right workplace can boost recruitment

According the RICS’s survey of 1,000 UK employees, nearly nine in ten (89%) Brits who work indoors believe that the property is a major deciding factor in whether or not they’ll accept a new job. Behind pay and people, place was the third most important factor, beating “progression opportunities” (40%), “company culture” (36%) and other perks, such as gym memberships.

At a time when unemployment is low, self-employment is high, and a continuing skills gap means that many businesses are still struggling to get the staff they need, companies of all sizes should be taking every opportunity to present themselves as attractive employers. That means offering competitive pay, demonstrating a rewarding culture, and having the right space for their workforce to thrive and be happy.

A positive environment creates a positive team

Let’s face it: life in the office isn’t always an action-packed adventure. And while spreadsheets and invoices definitely have their charms, working in comfortable, stimulating surroundings can make even the most dreary or stressful work a little bit more bearable.

It’s certainly something that UK employees are aware of. RICS’s research found that an overwhelming 88% of workers said that high-quality offices and workplace facilities have an impact on their overall job satisfaction.

But it’s not just a case of seeking the elusive concept of an ‘engaged workforce’. The quality and design of your office space can also have an effect on your team’s health and well-being. According to Lindsey Dugdill, a professor of public health at the University of Salford, even inexpensive features – such as the colour of the walls or the presence of plants – can make a difference.

“Certain colours, like green and blue, are seen to be less stressful,” she says, “so even quite simple things, such as the colour an employer paints a wall, can have quite a pronounced effect on the way staff feel”.

And a positive team becomes a loyal workforce

According to recent research by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), more than a third of UK workers are hoping to leave their current job in 2015 – a figure that’s doubled since 2014, and tripled since 2013. While it’s encouraging to see what the ILM calls “the return of ambition to the UK workforce”, it also means that employers need to work harder than ever if they want to keep their most valuable employees from looking elsewhere.

But according to the RICS’s survey, it’s not just better pay or promising career opportunities that are making UK workers jump ship. Four fifths of the survey’s respondents said their workplace had an effect on whether or not they intend to stay in their job, which means that businesses need to think carefully about their premises if they want to give their workforce what they want.

So just what do the UK’s workers want?

Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to creating the most productive, engaging and comfortable workplace possible. But from the RICS’s pool of 1,000 employees, we should at least be able to get a representative clue. Here are the top 10 most desirable workplace traits:

01. Lots of natural light (63%)
02. Good heating/ventilation (62%)
03. Regular cleaning (52%)
04. Good kitchen facilities (44%)
05. Good security (38%)
06. A café/bar/restaurant on site (31%)
07. A space to work away from the desk (26%)
08. A gym on site (15%)
09. A good colour scheme (13%)
10. High ceilings (13%)

Attracting and retaining the best talent for your business isn’t an overnight fix – but finding the ideal premises might be. Find out how a smart, flexible, fully-equipped workspace could give your business the boost it needs.

To find out more about what we have to offer please call: 01772 507 767 and speak to one of the team alternatively you can email info@cottoncourt.co.uk

Why using a professional meeting space is important

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It is very important for any small business to create a good impression. Whether it’s a potential employee or a big-money client, appearances and perceptions are everything in business.

An increasing number of small business startups have indicating that coffee shops are no longer an appropriate venue for holding business meetings. Business critical concerns are now being raised about hosting an important meeting in a café or coffee shop, with problems such as safety and security, professionalism and eavesdropping raised by SME owners.

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Professionalism is everything. A dedicated meeting or conference room is therefore much more beneficial to improve productivity and avoid any data or confidentiality leaks that could occur when holding a meeting in a public place.

It may also be the difference between instilling confidence in a potential client that you are adequately equipped to carry out the task at hand.

Some business feel they won’t be able to afford to book a meeting room until they are making mega bucks, but with us it is in fact possible to secure proper meeting space in a professional working environment.

We work with a host of business owners still happy to work from home and simply hire meeting space on an ad-hoc basis. We provide space for a whole host of business and are also ideal for job interviews, consultations and client briefings.meeting-space1Some small businesses often choose to use our serviced offices and our shared workspace as a flexible solution to finding meeting space as well as the next step up from working from home. Flexibility is the buzzword with serviced office space as most startups can secure workspace within days on short term contracts with minimal notice periods.

Our serviced offices and desk space come fully furnished, complete with manned reception staff and a host of additional services such as telephone answering, shared workspace, access to meeting rooms and conferencing facilities.desk-space-3With NO hidden costs for internet connectivity, line rental or business rates. We make it easy!

Our meeting space from an hour to as long as an entire week, depending on your requirements. Ask a member of our team for more information by either calling 01772 507 767 or email info@cottoncourt.co.uk

The importance of professional meeting space should never be underestimated by any new business. It will almost certainly be the difference between winning and losing new business.

We wish you the best of luck in your business and look forward to welcoming you to Cotton Court Business Centre

Client Success Story – EJT Associates

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One of our newest clients, EJT Associates, are going from strength to strength having secured a number of high profile contracts including Transport for London, Babcock International, Bank of New York Mellon, Keolis Amey and the London Fire Brigade.

EJT Associates Ltd is specialist provider of resilience, health and wellbeing services to a range of organisations. Their“fitforlife” brand has been specifically designed to support your resilience, health and wellbeing by delivering a range of bespoke fitforlife events including the provision of Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Personal Trainers and Nutritionists.

Russell Francis said “I am delighted to announce our new office at Cotton Court Business Centre, Preston after working from my home address for the past two years. Now in our second month of tenancy we find the building, the support and the staff to be exactly what we require in order to run our business.”

EJT are passionate in designing and providing the right event for your organisation and staff alike.
For further information on our services please visit: www.ejtassociates.co.uk / www.fitforlife.uk.net or call us on 01772 508110.

3ManFactory create video to get brands thinking!

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We first spotted this in the days running up to Lancashire Business View’s Young ‘Uns Awards. Low and behold we didn’t realise the advert lead to this very clever video from the team.

Marketing on Fleek from 3ManFactory on Vimeo.

Need to connect your brand with 18-30s or teens? Want to build brand awareness, get your products or services in front of them, or attract the best and brightest talent?

3ManFactory are experienced in delivering high performance cross-platform marketing strategies and campaigns to engage and excite youth demographics.

Our sectors specialisms include: education, fashion, technology, entertainment and consumer.

So if your brand needs to be in front of Generation Y, Z, Millennials or teens, get your marketing right or rather, on fleek. Get in touch with 3ManFactory today.

Winners of the LBV – Young’Uns 2015 Announced

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The Cotton Court team enjoyed a night at the Lancashire Business Views Young ‘Uns Awards in Blackpool.  100’s of business celebrated at the sell-out event, with 24 businesses collecting specially crafted trophies to mark their exceptional business performance.

The winners, along with five firms which were highly commended in their categories, were cheered on by a capacity audience  – filling the vast & spectacular Spanish Hall, lavishly themed with its three-dimensional frieze representing an Andalucian village, provides a unique backdrop for any grand occasion, from a banquet to a wedding reception. Retaining many original fittings from the 1930s, this art deco venue was designed by Andrew Mazzei, a renowned name in the emerging cinema industry of the time.

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A huge congratulations to all the winners!

Winners

Entrepreneurial Young ‘Un

  • Dawood Fard, Centurus
  • Alan Frew, Community Life Choices – WINNER
  • Kerrie Norman, Flinders Chase
  • Alexander Shannon, SousVide Tools

Young ‘Un in International Trade

  • Dawood Fard, Centurus
  • Ben Ferguson, H2o Designs UK
  • Daniel Tynan, New Call Telecom
  • David Lenehan, Northern Industrial – WINNER

Young ‘Un in Construction and Property

  • Ryan Stocks, Aldrock Surveyors
  • Daniel Brearley, Bryan Lee Building Contractors – WINNER
  • Russ Leonard, Chosen Homes
  • Emma Mycock, Globe Enterprises

Young ‘Un Apprentice of the Year

  • Richard Gill, Burnley Leisure Trust
  • Brittany Mollart, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – WINNER
  • Lyle Davy, Roaming Roosters
  • Chelsea Parker, Silentnight

Young ‘Un in Creative and Digital

  • Amelia Worrall, Aware Communications – WINNER
  • Kate Silvers, Farleys Solicitors LLP
  • Helen Stuart, Farm Creative
  • Natasha Robson, Wyldfire PR and Marketing

Young ‘Un in Manufacturing and Engineering

  • Ben Ferguson, H2o Designs UK
  • Paul Hardy, Hardy Services
  • Annette Weekes, PDS Engineering – WINNER
  • Paul Peak, REM (UK)

High Flying Young ‘Un

  • Henry Worsley, Andrew Porter – WINNER
  • Chantel O’Reilly, Community Life Choices
  • Chris Porter, Denwa
  • Lisa Mullally, Fairport Containers

Young ‘Un in Law

  • Stephen Greenwood, Farleys Solicitors
  • Pauline Rigby, Forbes Solicitors – WINNER
  • James Robbins, Harrison Drury & Co
  • David Edwards, Harrison Drury & Co

Young ‘Un in Retail

  • Joe Taylor , Allied Lighting
  • Jordan Kemp, Benedicts of Whalley – WINNER
  • Andrew Derbyshire, MendIT
  • Sophie Nash, Ruby & Daisy

Young ‘Un in Finance

  • James Morris, Baker Tilly
  • Jo Fulthorpe, Business Enterprise Trust
  • Laurence O’Connor, Financial Affairs
  • Nick Howarth, Taylor Patterson – WINNER

Young ‘Un in Tourism and Hospitality

  • Lyndsey Wilson, Culturapedia
  • Laura Crabb, Marketing Lancashire
  • Josh Gartside, The Cartford Inn – WINNER
  • Megan Gallacher, With a Twist Catering

Young ‘Un Business of the Year

  • Aware Communications
  • Grassroots Wholesale Foods
  • SignDox
  • Tom Grattan – WINNER

Great Reasons To Consider Co-Working Space With Us

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1. No Guilt

Resorting to hourly coffee purchases might be the best way to avoid glares from café employees after you plunk yourself down for an eight-hour work day at one of their tables. But you don’t have to feel guilty about working at a co-working space. You can plug in your laptop and take that phone call without the guilt of breaking the vibe.

desk space up2. Meet Potential Clients

Co-working spaces offer loads of opportunities for collaboration. Many of our clients talk about how they been working together on projects, sharing the workload and outsourcing to each other.

3. The Office Set Up

The desk chair can be a seriously under-appreciated piece of office equipment unless you are forced to leave it behind. Co-working allows you to enjoy desk chairs (with wheels and back support!) as well as enough desk room to spread out all of your computer equipment, papers, and work utensils. At Cotton Court, once you stake out a spot on a desk, you’re welcome to leave your things there overnight so that you can pick up right where you left off in the morning.

4. Network Without Trying

You could meet dozens of people with interesting projects by simply working alongside them during the day. We also know everybody’s business and enjoy nothing more than making introductions between people who might be able to help each other.about5. Legitimate Meeting Space

Although you might be comfortable working from home, it’s hardly a place that you’d like to invite clients. Belonging to a co-working space allows access to meeting & conference rooms, which can lend some credibility to your business meetings. Cotton Court has a meeting & conference space ranging from 4 to 100 people. Try pulling that off in your kitchen!

6. Learn Something

As a member pf our co-working space, you will be first to know about events, training courses and seminars that we deliver in partnership with networking groups such as Downtown in Business & Lancashire Business View, plus local colleges and businesses.

UCLan Partners With tenants 3ManFactory

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Leading University Entrusts Preston Agency With Supporting Their Marketing Team

3ManFactory have continued their fantastic start to 2015 by securing a contract with the University of Central Lancashire. The work was awarded after an intense tender process that covered producing a variety of work including promotional video and a full digital campaign, with the process culminating in a formal presentation. Despite tough competition from national agencies they secured a place as one of a small number of agencies supporting the Universities marketing team.

UCLan now has over 32,000 students and is in the top 1% of universities worldwide for international students. Their marketing team not only have to look at areas such as undergraduate and postgraduate recruitment and retention but also liaising and partnering with business and industry. This wide audience means work will no doubt be challenging but equally exciting and rewarding.

They have been working with UCLan for a number of years already having delivered many lectures and workshops, developed brand concepts and designed websites for projects and schools across the University but this new contract will really deepen that relationship. 3ManFactory know first hand their high standards, and as UCLan looks to push forward with with their own plans for the future, they feel this sits nicely with their own future plans and business growth.

We wish them the best of luck!