A planning application has been submitted to Preston City Council for the use of shipping containers at the Cotton Court business centre, off Church Street in the city centre.
Billed here as “Cotton Pods,” the containers at the historic mill site are designed by Frank Whittle Partnership with start-up businesses in mind. They will be built out of 16 20ft-long shipping containers stacked over two levels in two parts of the site.
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.
“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.”
Neil Ainsworth, partner and architect at FWP, added: “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 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.