IT Support Preston, Our Home Town
Preston is one of the country's best connected cities. It stands on the mainline from London to Edinburgh and, as any local knows, it is very well supported by the national motorway network. Major economic centres such as Liverpool and Manchester are just a short drive away, and the M6 makes for painless travel to Lancaster and Cumbria. Equally, the M55 puts Blackpool and the Fylde within easy striking distance, and the M65 gives us ready access to East Lancashire. For a company like AMP, which provides IT support to clients across the region, Preston is an excellent launch pad.
Preston is also an important local economy in its own right. 'The Preston model' has recently been celebrated as an example of best practice in urban regeneration, with local authorities supporting SMEs through a strong policy of 'buying local'.
Significantly, Preston is the region's third largest city. It has a population of approximately 141,000 - including 30,000 university students - and it's home to the University of Central Lancashire. In addition to being one of the top 5 employers in the North West, UClan has been a very effective business incubator, with students and staff fuelling large numbers of successful spin-off businesses that have also gone on to make Preston their home.
A robust population of SME businesses is exactly what an IT support company like AMP looks for when developing its growth plans, and this certainly played an important role in our decision to make the move from Blackpool, which had been our base since 1998. Preston not only boasted a busy community of businesses (many of them in sore need of cost-effective IT support); it also looked to be a city that was really going places.
Business Growth and Demand for IT Support
A key reason for the area's economic optimism has been the signing of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal. Through it, local authority economic development specialists have secured £434m in public funding, which experts predict could create as many as 20,000 new jobs and help launch a raft of new businesses. In all, it's predicted that the City Deal will generate around £1 billion in economic growth over the next ten years.
Highlights of the latest round of investment have included the refurbishment of Fishergate and Friargate, the main streets in the city centre, £1.2m of improvements to Winckley Square, and a £50 million refurbishment of Preston's Market Quarter. Investors are now talking of further development in the centre, including new retail businesses, restaurants and a cinema. Many of these incoming firms will need good, affordable IT support if they are to thrive and, naturally, we want to be a part of that.
Looking ahead, Preston is also set to benefit from Northern Powerhouse funding, which could further invigorate the city's economy, and (in time, perhaps) the ripple effects of investment in HS2 rail links. In anticipation of that, Virgin Trains has already ring-fenced £1.5 million for improvements to Preston station's public entrances and passenger facilities. Looking at these and other developments, it's clear to see that the city is witnessing a steady inward flow of investment and new enterprises.
Proud to be in Preston
Reading this, you might conclude that setting up in Preston was the result of a pretty clinical business decision. For an IT support company, Preston has a high concentration of small and medium sized businesses, so there's no denying that it made sense. However, there were sentimental reasons, too. Firstly, Preston was always the nearest city for our founder, Adam, who first launched AMP in nearby Garstang. Lying just a few miles down the A6, Preston hosted many businesses that quickly became new clients, so the city has always felt like a big part of our story.
In 2015, having outgrown our old premises, we moved into our current premises on Preston's Riversway. Here, we now have more space to grow and, importantly, our own training room. This is significant because, in addition to offering traditional forms of IT support, we can also provide IT and security awareness training.
In short, we're very happy to be based in Preston and we aim to stay here for the long term.
If you need IT support in Preston or anywhere else in the North West, please get in touch and give us the chance to show you why we're different. Call us now on 0800 368 7730 or request a callback.