Your Journey with Propeller


  • Workshops
  • Propeller Enterprise Award
  • The Big Ideas Challenge
  • Networking
  • Drop-ins


  • Mentoring
  • Hot desk
  • Action learning
  • Networking
  • Workshops
  • The Big Ideas Challenge
  • Propeller Enterprise Award


  • Rent a desk
  • Specialist workshops
  • Sector specific mentoring
  • Legal and finance clinics
  • Networking
  • Referral to other business support programmes

The Propeller Team

A friendly and accessible service which is responsive to your needs. We want you to have an engaging and enriching experience, with Propeller.

About Us

Propeller is a multi-award winning service and a leader within the Higher Education sector, having existed for over 10 years. Our team of advisors boast a wide range of industry experience from employability and education to accounting and recruitment.

We work with business at all stages of development, in both commercial and academic environments. Thanks in part to Propeller’s high-quality enterprise support, UCLan has been shortlisted five times for the Times Higher Education “Entrepreneurial University of the Year ” award.

We contribute to the delivery of UCLan’s Corporate Strategy 2015-2020 by addressing the key strategic themes of:

  • Student access
  • Experience and Success
  • Research and Innovation
  • Social Engagement.

The Propeller team supports:

  • Development of an entrepreneurial mind-set through online and face to face learning environments
  • Early stage pre- and post- start-up businesses and social ventures
  • Self-employment and business start-ups ranging from lifestyle, freelancing, consultancy and high-growth businesses and ideas
  • High value enterprise projects working alongside local and regional services, community and wider businesses
  • Impactful academic activity that embeds enterprise, entrepreneurship, IP capitalization, leadership and employability both inside and outside the curriculum

Our Values

Inspired by the UCLan values of common sense, compassion, teamwork, attention to detail and trust, Propeller looks to do the following:

  • We are helpers and enablers
  • We work with integrity to a high standard of quality
  • We strive to maintain and develop a reputation for excellence
  • We work together in friendship and with respect
  • We dedicate ourselves to supporting customers, colleagues and friends

Our Awards

  • Lancashire Business Awards: Winner – Best Business Enabler of the Year 2015
  • SFEDI: Runner Up – Enterprise/Training Support Organisation of the Year 2010
Joseph Buglass
Joseph BuglassStudent/Graduate Enterprise & Hub Manager
Hugh Roberts
Hugh RobertsProject Manager - U Start Graduate & Student Enterprise
I have led business start-up and growth programmes across Lancashire and Greater Manchester for over 20 years in the private, public and HEI sectors. I help to manage the delivery of our services supporting Enterprise & Entrepreneurship, equipping UCLan students and graduates to succeed in the fast moving modern economy.
Liz Pickstock
Liz PickstockBusiness Advisor & Mentor
A creative and quick-thinking Business Adviser and Mentor with experience of working within a diverse spectrum of Education and Employability based settings. I have taught a variety of subjects from Music to Retail Law and Business Administration and worked successfully on a freelance basis in the Music Industry for over ten years. I have a no-nonsense, plain-English approach to Business Advice and am passionate about motivating and empowering people to achieve their dreams. I like to think outside the box and I love to overcome barriers and challenges with a smile.
Craig Lawrenson
Craig LawrensonBusiness Advisor & Mentor
As a business advisor who has been self-employed most of my adult life. I have a true passion in supporting the start-up and growth of new business ventures and developing people’s ideas. I deliver workshops on finance and accounting and have an un-paralleled knowledge in business start-up, self-assessment and in work benefits.
Steve Simm
Steve SimmBusiness Incubation Co-ordinator
I look after the day-to-day running of the business incubator as well as supporting start-ups through the provision of mentoring and workshops. Having worked in recruitment before launching my own management consultancy and business support company, I’m passionate about business and enjoy working on business development, planning, compliance and raising finance with both for profit and social enterprises.
Margaret Burke
Margaret BurkeAdministrator
I have been at the University for over 27 years in many different roles. I am now the Administrator for the team and if I don’t know the answer to the question, I will make it my prime objective to find the answer. I’m always on hand to offer advice and a friendly word of encouragement when needed.
Vicky Prendergast
Vicky PrendergastU Start Administrator
I work with the team to provide administrative and customer service support for staff, graduates and students on the U Start Project. I’ve worked on similar projects in the past and I am very passionate in supporting people to achieve their long term career goals. I love my job being so varied and thrive off the new challenges every day.
Toni Bellamy
Toni BellamyPromotions, Digital & Social Media Co-ordinator
I write copy, create physical and digital promotional material and manage the daily running of the social media accounts. Alongside this, I am creating a marketing plan informed by market research and customer insights, to further aid campaign planning and management. I also work with the team to compile case studies and press releases.


The U Start project, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, aims to assist graduates from the University of Central Lancashire and Lancaster University to start up their own businesses. People who benefit from the project are students enrolled with one of the Universities, staff at one of the Universities (including academic and non-academic staff), and alumni based within the region who have recently graduated.

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