Get in Touch
Cotton Court | Church Street | Preston | PR1 3BY

Cotton Court Business Centre

Latest News

Clients Holker IT Recruit Two New Members of Staff!

By Comments Off on Clients Holker IT Recruit Two New Members of Staff!

Our client Holker IT, that are also based in Colne, has enrolled new recruits Nina Akrigg and Timon Holden onto a new Government initiative.

The duo will attend a Level 4 Apprenticeship for Cyber Security Technology and Risk Analysis to be run by Training 2000 in Blackburn.

“We have earned a reputation as a regional specialist in cyber security and these appointments will help to re-inforce that position,” said Matthew Metcalfe, managing director Holker IT, a Cyber Essentials Plus accredited company.

“The threat posed by hacking cannot be over-stated and every business is vulnerable to attack. It is absolutely imperative that all firms – small, medium or large – take the necessary steps to ensure their computer systems are protected from theft and damage to both hardware and software.

“At Holker IT, we have created a dedicated cyber security department to tackle the issues and this new course is a chance for Nina and Tim to increase their knowledge.”

Padiham-born Nina, who lives in Brierfield, is a former student at Mansfield High School and Burnley College, where she gained a national diploma in performing arts.

“My working life has included administration and sales positions, but I have a strong background in IT and I am relishing the opportunity to develop a career in cyber security,” said the 33-year-old mother-of-two.

Timon, 22, lives in Blackburn and formerly attended St Mary’s College and Edge Hill University where he achieved a degree in film and media studies.

“Cyber security is so important these days and it is very clear that Holker IT is determined to be at the forefront. I want to be a part of that.”

Together We Balance Celebrates Their First Birthday!

By Comments Off on Together We Balance Celebrates Their First Birthday!

This week marks one year of Alys Stewart (Together We Balance) starting her own business, and we’re happy to say she’s doing extremely well! Alys moved into Cotton Court six months into her new venture and her business has only gone up since working here! Here’s what Alys has to say about her experience at Cotton Court:

 

My decision to move to Cotton Court was prompted by the lack of parking at my previous office and the competitive rates offered in comparison to other hot desk/desk share providers. I have spent the last 6 months working from here and can honestly say that I got far more than a free parking space and a cost effective desk. Some of the extras are what I would expect from any good office solution provider – for example pleasant and friendly reception staff, use of kitchen facilities and meeting rooms when available. There are, however, some unexpected benefits, the main one of these being the positive impact on my business of sharing the space with other small business owners in various stages of growth. I regularly get to network with these business owners for free, whether that’s while taking a few minutes break at my desk, while making a drink in the kitchen or at a social event. I have been able to discuss my challenges, receive actionable support and advice and have had access to other’s larger networks – all the sorts of things you would expect from an organised networking event without the additional cost, both in terms of money and time. I have also been able to assist others with their general bookkeeping queries, the sort of things that you wouldn’t bother your Accountant with but would have otherwise spent some time googling without the added security of knowing that the advice was correct. Finally, the staff at Cotton Court are more than receptionists, they have an understanding of the needs of small business owners and are a good port of call for all sorts of queries, either by dealing directly when it’s about photography or marketing support or indirectly by pointing you in the direction of someone who can help; their flexibility in dealing with last minute meeting room space is also much appreciated! I know that I will be with Cotton Court for a while as my business grows.

Alys has also added a new element to her business and is using the facilities at Cotton Court to deliver a series of workshops! To find out more or to book onto her latest session click here

Calyx Drinks is raising money for Alzheimer’s Society!

By Comments Off on Calyx Drinks is raising money for Alzheimer’s Society!

Please help Calyx Drinks raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society by donating directly to our fundraising page – https://www.justgiving.com/Calyx-Drinks?utm_source=Sharethis&utm_medium=fundraisingpage&utm_content=Calyx-Drinks&utm_campaign=pfp-email.

Please donate on our page or come and join us at Cotton Court, Church Street. PR1 3BY on 15th June between 10am and 12pm for Cupcake Day 2017. This is to increase awareness of dementia and raise funds to help this important cause. Please donate to help create a better world for those affected by dementia and to find a cure for the future.

Our syrups will be available with tea, coffee and cupcakes on the third floor at Cotton Court between 10am and 12pm on Thursday 15th June. 

You can donate on this page or come along to give your donation on the day with a cupcake and a brew. Or join us afterwards on Fishergate, Preston outside the George’s Centre where we will continue to raise funds throughout the day. It’s going to be a fun and exciting day!

Calyx Drinks make healthy drinks and syrups from flowers giving you a unique taste and experience. Please visit our website www.calyxdrinks.co.uk for more information and follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/calyxdrinks and Facebook www.facebook.com/calyxdrinks

JustGiving sends your donation straight to Alzheimer’s Society and automatically reclaims Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer, so your donation is worth even more.

Cloud Accounting – Xero Basics Workshop with Together We Balance

By Comments Off on Cloud Accounting – Xero Basics Workshop with Together We Balance

Our client Alys Stewart of Together We Balance is running a Xero Basics course at Cotton Court next week! To sign up just visit the link at the bottom of the page.

Xero is the emerging global leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services. Xero provides business owners with real-time visibility of their financial position and performance in a way that’s simple, smart and secure.
This workshop will cover the basics of using the Xero cloud accounting software to simplify your bookkeeping and accounting process and is suitable for Sole Traders, Business Owners, Staff involved with bookeeping data entry as well as bookkeepers and accountants who want to expand the software they can use with their clients.
Areas to be covered in this initial workshop include –
Company setup
Creating and editing customers and suppliers
Sales invoices, purchase invoices and credit notes
The Chart of Accounts
Bank Accounts, payments and receipts
Futher workshops are planned to include reporting, bank feeds, VAT returns, contra invoicing, project tracking, inventory control, integration and other, more advanced aspects. Dates are TBA. A discount code for these future will be available to all attendees.
PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN LAPTOP OR MACBOOK, remember your charger.

To sign up just click here!

The 10 Step (Ethical) Plan to Ensure SEO Success – Mark Preston SEO

By Comments Off on The 10 Step (Ethical) Plan to Ensure SEO Success – Mark Preston SEO

From the success of his last event our client, Mark Preston SEO is holding another SEO course! Read all about what he will be speaking about on the day below:

——-

This is a one day course, where you will learn how to ethically drive a constant flow of visitors to your website and push your online brand awareness using the power of search engine optimisation.

It is so important that you fully understand what SEO is and how it impacts your business. If you get it wrong, it has the potential to do more damage than good. If you want to arm yourself with the skills and knowledge to pro-actively increase new business day after day, get booked on this one day SEO workshop seminar.

Who should attend?

If you own or manage a website, you need to attend this course.

  • Start-ups
  • Small business owners
  • Marketing executives
  • Web designers and developers
  • Bloggers
  • Website managers

I will teach you my 10 step plan I’ve personally used to help businesses, just like yours

Step 1: An Understanding of SEO

  • Introduction to search engines
  • Why ethical SEO should always be top priority
  • Paid vs organic search traffic
  • Why ranking factors matter

Step 2: Data is so Important

  • What’s data got to do with SEO?
  • Google Analytics: What, why, where and how
  • Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools): What, why, where and how

Step 3: Performing a Basic Website Audit

  • Why perform an SEO website audit?
  • Factors to consider when performing an audit
  • How to complete a basic SEO audit on your website

Step 4: Research is the Foundation

  • What is keyword research and why is it important?
  • Top free keyword research tools
  • The best paid keyword research tool
  • How to find keywords that will drive new business
  • Understanding your target audience
  • Keyword mapping explained
  • Competitor research

Step 5: Local SEO

  • Why you should consider local SEO, even if you trade Nationally
  • Local means local
  • Local SEO ranking factors
  • How to rank top on Google maps/places

Step 6: On-Page

  • Why on-page optimisation is important
  • Always put the user first
  • How to optimise a page for the related keywords
  • Deleting pages and what 301, 302 and 404 codes mean

Step 7: Content

  • Duplicate content myths
  • It always starts with the impact
  • How long should my content be?
  • Writing content for conversions

Step 8: Links

  • What are links and why we need them?
  • How to spot a bad link from a good link
  • Historical bad link clean-up
  • How to source new link opportunities
  • How to acquire new links

Step 9: Social Media

  • What’s social media got to do with SEO?
  • Which social media platform should I use?
  • How to use the power of social media to increase rankings

Step 10: Analyse, Measure and Tweak

  • How do I measure the success of my SEO campaign?
  • What is conversion rate optimisation and why it is important?
  • My best conversion rate optimisation tips
  • SEO is a constant marketing strategy – never stop!
  • Keep focused – Create an SEO strategy plan

Included within the ticket price

  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Buffet lunch
  • All course material and training documentation
  • Ability to email me anytime in the future to ask any pressing SEO questions
  • 25% discount on my personal SEO training

Don’t miss out – Book your ticket now!

Cotton Court Supports UCLan’s LaunchPad Programme

By Comments Off on Cotton Court Supports UCLan’s LaunchPad Programme

We’ve been delighted to be involved with the Launchpad project over the past couple of years by attending events, hosting their business simulation weekend and our director, Robert Binns making up part of the expert panel.

The LaunchPad leadership development programme is unique to the School of Business and the School of Management at UCLan and provides students with opportunities to enhance their professional skills allowing them to become the global leaders of the future.

On Friday 12th May the Cotton Court team enjoyed a night at the UCLan LaunchPad ball at The Samlesbury Hotel. We also invited some of our clients including Tienda Digital, Ambledene, Together We Balance, Bird, Lancashare and Invoke Media! The LaunchPad ball is a celebration of all of the groups of students that have been through their programme, it was great to find out more about the programme from current & former students and staff.

From 19th – 21st May, we hosted the Business Simulation weekend. Former Launchpad Student, Will Taylor, was in attendance and has provided us with a guest blog.

“So this weekend I was lucky enough to spend my time helping current launchpad students during a business simulation (of which I took part in the previous year) that would test not only their current understanding of a business startup, but would also test them with regards to executing and applying core ideas within a pressurised setting.

I can honestly say this weekend has enabled me to witness amazing talent shine beyond all belief, especially watching a student’s confidence soar past anything they could have ever expected! It really has been an honour watching and helping the future of the business world flourish and utilise all potential avenues provided.

 

Since I took part in the business simulation last year, Cotton Court has always held a close place for me as it has provided me not only with a plethora of tools to help further my future, but the experience, knowledge and mentoring of the Amazing Rob Binns and the Cotton Court team.

– Will Taylor

Since completing the Launchpad programme Will Taylor and Dan Collins both part of the programme last year have used their experience to develop and set up their own business – Impulse North

The website Impulse North allows Prestonians to check what local bars and clubs have on offer each evening in one place.

Big News for Cotton Court Clients Vibe Tickets!

By Comments Off on Big News for Cotton Court Clients Vibe Tickets!

Fast-growth transparent ticketing app, Vibe Tickets, has appointed Cornel Lazar as marketing director to assist in developing the brand as the company continues to expand its offering.

Cornel not only brings with him a profound knowledge of the entertainment industry, having worked for Ticketmaster Resale brands, GET ME IN and Seatwave, but his digital experience will ensure that Vibe continues to provide an innovative digital solution to disrupt the traditional ticketing industry.

Since 2013, Vibe Tickets has grown exponentially, attracting investment from a range of different sources including Virgin founder Richard Branson and North-West entrepreneur Scott Fletcher MBE. The app is now operational in eight countries and, with plans to further expand its global footprint and develop its offering, the appointment marks an important step forward for the company.

Luke Massie, founder and managing director at Vibe said: “Cornel’s experience in the fast-paced ticketing industry and his enthusiasm for digital innovation really stood out to us. His ambition is endless and his drive to disrupt the market will be vital for Vibe as we reach our goal of becoming the global ticketing marketplace app of choice.

“The secondary ticketing market is highly competitive. It’s therefore vital that we recruit the right talent to help us promote the message of transparency and continue to grow. This is an exciting transition period for Vibe, and we look forward to taking advantage of Cornel’s expertise as we pursue our ambitions.”

Commenting on his appointment, Cornel Lazar said: “I’ve always had a passion to work with entrepreneurial figures that are making bold moves to disrupt the industries they’re working in. Leaders like Luke are changing the way we transact and interact in the UK and across the world, and it’s this type of digital innovation that I want to be part of.

“The future for Vibe is extremely bright. We have something here with masses of potential I’m relishing the task of attracting investment, expanding our global presence and helping the Vibe brand stand out amongst other industry names.”

Vibe is set to increase its UK presence with the opening of a second office in London in the coming weeks and is targeting further high profile appointments in the first half of 2017.

 

VOOM has played a huge part in Vibe’s story too – from the positive exposure to being mentored by Richard Branson himself, there’s no doubt that the lessons that they’ve learned from the world’s most famous entrepreneur have massively contributed to their success.

But for them, the benefits didn’t stop after reaching the final of the competition last year. As part of the Virgin family, they’re also proud to be the face of the official launch of #VOOM2017.

The competition, designed by Virgin, will help Richard Branson find the UK’s next outstanding business idea. By providing financial support, advice and national exposure, it will drive the country’s budding entrepreneurs to make their dream a reality.

Speaking to and working closely with Richard Branson since VOOM 2016 has played a huge part in our journey here at Vibe Tickets. Vibe’s founder, Luke Massie, has spoken to broadcaster Nikki Bend about what it’s like to work with the entrepreneur:

“As a disruptive business, we’re excited to be part of the conversation that’s encouraging the UK’s next generation of entrepreneurs. What every VOOM pitch shares is passion, and the goal of the competition is to shape this passion into a solid and successful business.”

As part of the official launch and to celebrate the arrival of Vibe Fibre, Luke will be presenting from the VOOM bus around the country, and talking about the Vibe journey so far. The mobile festival of business, with a twist of rock ‘n’ roll will be full of workshops, business advice and exciting pitches – click here to find out more.

 

We can now happily also annouce that Luke has taken another brand on his shoulders filming for HSBC’s new Human Ambition Instagram campaign! Watch out next month for his adverts!

 

Our Client Elliot Opens The Lancashire Boxing Academy!

By Comments Off on Our Client Elliot Opens The Lancashire Boxing Academy!

A pioneering new boxing gym – believed to be the first of its kind in the country – has opened in Preston. Lancashire Boxing Academy opened its door for the first time on Monday at its base in Shepherd Street, in the city centre.

The brainchild of boxing coach Robert Francis and a former pupil of his Elliot Livesey, the establishment will act like any other gym during the evening but during the day will house 18 students. They will study for a BTEC diploma in sport as well as being handed the opportunity to train as boxers on a daily basis. The gym is unique as it will offer bright, young prospects the opportunity to earn a qualification at the same time as developing their boxing skills.

The centre will be run in conjunction with Creativity Works, which is a charity set up to help troubled children who have been expelled from school or young people who are unemployed. Livesey, who runs an overseas football agency called Soccer Smart Ltd, which is based in Cotton Court, said he was personally proud to be involved in the new initiative. “It’s quite difficult for any young boxer to do the sport full-time without doing a job at the same time, but this is different. “It’s a bit of a first because young boxers can come and box every day as well as earning a qualification in sport which will be the equivalent of three ‘A’ Levels as long as they get the relevant grades.”

For Francis, the establishment of the gym has been a lifelong ambition. “It’s very, very exciting for me,” said Francis, who is aged 46 and used to box as an amateur for England. “I have always wanted to open my own gym and it’s great that we will be giving students the chance to get an education as well as train to be boxers.”

Upcoming UCLan Business Events

By Comments Off on Upcoming UCLan Business Events

As part of the Lancashire Arts Festival, the University of Central Lancashire has three free business events, which may be of interest to you.  Please find details and online booking links below.

UCLAN BUSINESS NETWORKING LUNCH

Friday 9 June, 12noon-3.00pm

Venue 53, UCLan, Preston

Are you looking to develop your workforce, recruit graduates or access expertise? This event is open to professionals from all organisations, inside and outside of the creative industries, who are keen to engage with the University of Central Lancashire’s creative talent. You will get to meet like-minded business people, students, course tutors and key colleagues from the University’s careers, placement and partnership development teams.

The event includes:
• LUNCH WITH NETWORKING
• KEYNOTE JEAN FLYNN, PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR AT COSGROVE HALL ENTERTAINMENT
• GUIDED TOUR BY COURSE TUTORS AROUND YOUR AREA OF INTEREST

The networking lunch is just three hours long, but you can stay for longer if you have time. Immediately following, at 3.00pm, is the Lancashire Arts Festival Awards Ceremony with guest speaker Charles Hadcock, sculptor, businessman and Chairman of Creative Lancashire. Then at 4.00pm, we have the Private View of our architecture, design, fashion, fine art and media degree shows. Last year around 1,500 people attended the Private View and we can guarantee that there will be a huge buzz and celebratory feel in all of the buildings with lots of opportunities to network.

Advance booking is essential: https://uclannetworkinglunch.eventbrite.co.uk

 

UCLAN FASHION SHOW

Thursday 15 June, 6.30pm – 9.00pm

Venue 53, UCLan, Preston

If you are a decision maker in a fashion, textile or lifestyle related business you may be interested in attending the University of Central Lancashire’s fashion show as previewed at Graduate Fashion Week, London. This event is perfect for those scouting for talented students to work in their company.

Advance booking is essential: https://uclanfashionshow.eventbrite.co.uk

 

OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE LANCASHIRE ARTS FESTIVAL AWARDS EXHIBITION

Wednesday 21 June, 5.30pm – 7.30pm

Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston

An exhibition of architecture, design, fashion, fine art, media and performance. The expert curatorial team, led by 2017 Turner Prize nominee Professor Lubaina Himid, will showcase the work of final year students from UCLan who have been shortlisted for the Lancashire Arts Festival Awards, sponsored by Creative Lancashire.  The Official Opening includes drinks and canapés on arrival, performances and a special guest speaker Patrick Grant, Creative Director of Savile Row tailors Norton & Sons and menswear line, E. Tautz and resident judge on the BBC’s ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’.

Advance booking is essential: https://uclanexhibition.eventbrite.co.uk 

If you have any questions regarding any of these events please contact Tania at the University on 01772 894106 orTCallagher@uclan.ac.uk

UCLan Launchpad Celebration Ball!

By Comments Off on UCLan Launchpad Celebration Ball!

The Cotton Court team enjoyed a night at the UCLan LaunchPad ball at The Samlesbury Hotel. We also invited some of our clients including Tienda Digital, Ambledeen, Together We Balance, Bird, Lancashare and Invoke Media!

 

The LaunchPad ball is a celebration of all of the groups of students that have been through their programme.

The LaunchPad leadership development programme is unique to the School of Business and the School of Management at UCLan and provides students with opportunities to enhance their professional skills allowing them to become the global leaders of the future.

LaunchPad students learn about the challenges of the current job market from employer and graduate perspectives and the leadership approaches needed to address them, in both theory and practice.

We are also welcoming back the LaunchPad team and their new selection of students into Cotton Court for a weekend of challenges!

Thanks again to Fran and the LaunchPad team for inviting us! We had a great time!