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Preston Guild City

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Norman standing in warehouse Obas logo beside, Preston, Lancashire

It’s often said that business is about people, but rarely do businesses understand the significance of these values, however here at OBAS we have these values at the heart of everything we do.

Preston is already home to an extensive variety of organisations and offers many opportunities for new businesses to develop or well-established businesses to relocate.

This blog is a dedicated space for local businesses to promote themselves, and their role in Preston. If you wish to be considered to feature please email Shirah Bamber on Please be aware that there is a limit as to how many posts can be published per year and all entries will be added to the queue to be published as appropriate.

Benefitting from Preston's better community connections.

It’s often said that business is about people, but rarely do businesses understand the significance of these values, however here at OBAS we have these values at the heart of everything we do.

Preston is a unique city, being the last English city still to hold a Guild celebration. During the Guild Year every strand of Preston life is brought together and whilst that celebration happens only once every twenty years, in between, the community continues to exist as a dynamic, vibrant and forward looking entity but which sadly sits in isolation.

This website promises to be a great place to bring together everything Preston has to offer under the Guild City concept, which is a tremendous step forward, at exactly the right moment in Preston’s development.

I’m hopeful this will engender more joined up thinking and encourage the development of the city for the benefit of the whole community, bringing together business, charity, education and culture, in focusing on the real needs of the community and by creating an entrepreneurial culture, which will embrace and advocate the value Preston has to offer and its biggest asset is its people.

Preston already has the full package, we have an opportunity to promote Preston in building better connections both within and outside the city, for the mutual benefit of the whole community and make it a destination city of the future, with a truly integrated community.
Preston has an abundance of businesses that are making exceptional progress, their success and achievements goes unrecognised . We should be promoting Preston on a regional, national and international level as we have an amazing array of successful businesses trading across the globe.

We are a national company selling construction products and workwear to tens of thousands of tradespeople all over the UK. We are committed to investing our time, energy and resources into the local community, and that’s why I’ve been determined to work closely with organisations such as the Community Foundation for Lancashire, the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce and Lancaster University with a vision of integration for the benefit of the community at large.

Working with different sectors gives a business tremendous insight into those others fields, for example working with education can help a business learn how to better understand its customers, whilst working with an organisation such as the Chamber of Commerce gives us a great understanding of legislation and policy.

In dealing with businesses that may have no discernible synergy with our own business and even working collaboratively with businesses that may view us as competitors, we’re able to grow as a business. Ultimately, in understanding the real needs of your community better places your business to understand the needs of its customers and its workforce.

The vision for Preston as The Guild City builds upon our proud cultural heritage, whilst being based on firm commercial foundations; encouraging members of the business community to act as ambassadors in promoting Preston, by advocating the opportunities our fantastic city has to offer and by influencing others to join us in becoming part of our ongoing success story.

Every journey starts with a single step, isn’t it about time that we stopped walking alone?

Norman Tenray is the CEO of building supplies specialists OBAS UK. He’s also Director of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Lancaster, Philanthropy Fellow at the Community Foundation for Lancashire and member of the Bank of England Advisory Board.

Best known for their ranges of plumbing products and building supplies, OBAS sells tens of thousands of products to tradespeople both locally and nation-wide, with ranges including construction supplies, workwear, signs, personal protection equipment (PPE) and safety gear.

With a heritage stretching back over 25 years, OBAS was established in 2008 following the acquisition and merger of four existing companies. The company has since gone on to win a wide range of awards for excellence.