British Library’s business and IP services set to expand via national library network

Agreement signed that will see six cities around the UK establish local hubs for Library’s Business & IP Centre

Six major UK libraries are set to launch a national network for small businesses and entrepreneurs, modelled on the British Library’s Business and IP Centre.

Opened in 2006, The British Library Business & IP Centre provides entrepreneurs with free access to over £5m worth of business and intellectual property information, along with advice clinics, practical workshops and networking events.

Following funding earlier this year from the Intellectual Property Office, the centre is set to be replicated in the new PATLIB network which includes the libraries of Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield. Due to launch first in Newcastle in Spring 2013 following a year-long pilot scheme, the network aims to build on the foundations of the Business and IP Centre to provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ for entrepreneurs seeking information across the UK. The remaining city libraries are set to launch their pilot schemes throughout 2013 and 2014. Isabel Oswell, head of business marketing at the British Library commented: “Since opening in 2006, the Business & IP Centre in St Pancras has helped to create over 2500 businesses and over 3000 additional jobs, and has provided information, inspiration and practical support to over 30,000 people.

“We are thrilled to be working with these city libraries on this project and look forward to our business and innovation support service being shared with thousands more people across the UK.”

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