The Government has announced a new £1.2 million initiative that will see six city libraries becoming incubator hubs to support business innovation.
Enterprising Libraries, which is supported by the British Library and Arts Council England, will bring together leading business figures to deliver mentoring services to help in towns and villages across the country to start up a new business ventures.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is providing £600,000 to the initiative over the next two years. Libraries in towns and cities will be encouraged to partner with the six patent-holding city libraries, bringing the capacity of the British Library to the local high street and extending support to external groups that are often excluded from business support.
Speaking about the new programme, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:
“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.
“Patent offices and chambers of commerce can be intimidating places for people not used to formal business environments. Libraries are welcoming and much-loved by their communities and these new centres mean that a library card will now get you more than just books: it could launch a brand-new career.”
Roly Keating, CEO of the British Library said:
“With our partner libraries in Newcastle, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, and Sheffield, the British Library has a vision for a national network of innovation and intellectual property support that will boost the entrepreneurial drive and success of the UK. We are delighted to receive this support from the Department for Communities Local Government and the Arts Council England which will help to make this vision a reality.”
Source: GOV.UK, 11/02/2013