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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Cotton Court contains innovative new office plans for Preston

Preston’s premier business centre has found an innovative way to expand due to the increased demand for office space.

Cotton Court is aiming to create mini pods on its historic mill site, off Church Street in the city centre, to help kick-start new businesses and cater for the growing number of start-ups looking for cost-effective and perfectly-sized private office space.

The Cotton Pods have been created by designers from the Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP) in Preston and will be built out of 16 20ft long shipping containers stacked over two levels in two locations on the site.

A planning application has been submitted to Preston City Council and work could begin later this year if the plans are approved.

Cotton Court owner Robert Binns says: “Since Cotton Court’s conversion to a business centre, we have been the catalyst for a significant number of start-up businesses and more than 50 new jobs have been created as a direct spin off from Cotton Court.

“One particular success story involves a business which began renting a single desk at £25 per week and is now worth more than £6 million with offices nationwide.

“Our aim is to continue to act as an incubator for hungry, bright young entrepreneurs and give them the space and support to realise their ambitions in business.

“Cotton Court is a Preston success story and growing demand means we need to expand to supply the space demanded by the city’s emerging creative talent.

“If we can keep them here and help them grow their business they will employ more people, live locally and spend money in the city.”

Neil Ainsworth, partner and architect at FWP in Preston, says: “The concept of using industrial containers as office space is an appropriate one and has become a model of success around the world.

“The Cotton Pods look good and are easily adaptable to each occupier’s requirements. We are keeping the industrial theme of the site and these shipping containers will look great alongside the original, restored 1851 mill building.”

The existing Cotton Court Business Centre building is a six-storey brick building, originally a spinning mill for Thomas Ainsworth & Sons built in 1851.

In 1875 it was converted into an old iron and wire mill by James Starkie & Sons. Originally the site had a number of two storey buildings that have long been demolished, located in the same location as the proposed shipping containers.

FWP is working on a number of high profile business regeneration projects in Preston including the new market, the Guild Hall, the restoration of the Park Hotel overlooking Avenham Park back into a luxury hotel and a conversion of the city’s tallest office building into a serviced apartment, hotel and spa complex.

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