National launch of British Library’s Business and IP Centres secures government backing

£600,000 awarded to roll-out of entrepreneur centres across six UK regions

Plans to expand the British Library’s entrepreneur centre across the country have been supported by both Barclays and the government.

Set to replicate the British Library’s Business and IP Centre, which provides entrepreneurs with free access to advice clinics, practical workshops and networking events, the centres are set to roll-out across Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.

Following funding early in 2012 from the Intellectual Property Office, the new centres have secured additional support, with secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles announcing his intention to put £600,000 towards the project over the next two years as part of the Enterprising Libraries project.

Similarly, Barclays has signed an agreement to support the webcast of the British Library’s ‘Inspiring Entrepreneurs’ events, which have previously featured entrepreneurs including Lord Sugar, across the six national libraries.

Following a pilot, which has seen 2,000 local entrepreneurs securing business support, the first official centre is set to launch in Newcastle in the Spring.

Announcing the funding Pickles commented: “This fantastic project deserves Government support. It will give communities business support and turn town and village libraries into incubators of innovation.

“By expanding the pool of entrepreneurial talent and reaching every community it will lead to the creation of more businesses, more jobs and ultimately, contribute to economic growth across the country.”




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