Cotton Court plans expansion

Preston’s Cotton Court business centre has submitted planning permission for its new expansion plans.

Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP) has designed ‘mini pods’ to add to the historic mill site, off Church Street.

Built out of 16ft by 20ft shipping containers, they will be marketed to start-ups as cost-effective private office space.

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 said: “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.

“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.

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