Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Manchester signs up with the British Library to boost small businesses


Manchester Libraries are set to support small businesses and entrepreneurs by teaming up with the British Library to become part of a new national information network.
Manchester will be part of the network, which is modelled on the British Library’s flagship Business & IP (Intellectual Property) Centre, a business and innovation advice centre which provides support to small businesses, inventors and entrepreneurs.
Six cities have been chosen to participate in the scheme – Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle and Sheffield.
The project’s aim is for each city to establish a ‘one-stop-shop’ information service along the lines of the successful Business & IP Centre, which has provided practical advice and business information to more than 300,000 people since opening its doors in 2006.
The scheme will also build strong links between businesses and libraries, while encouraging the seven partner cities to share resources and establish a network of best practice.
Executive member for culture and leisure, Councillor Rosa Battle, said: "Manchester Libraries have the expertise and resources to make a real success of this exciting partnership with the British Library. Through this initiative, we will be able to provide the best possible support for people who are looking to start up or grow their own business venture."
A pilot project in Newcastle has been developing over the twelve months and is planned to be fully operational this spring, with the other participating cities planning to pilot their own projects through 2013 and 2014. After this point, each city will look to secure support and funding to make the pilot schemes a permanent fixture.
Funding for the project was granted to the British Library by the Intellectual Property Office.

(Photo credit: yuki* via photopin cc)

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