Business centre at Leeds Central Library proving to be a big hit

Caption: (L-R-) Leeds City Council's libraries information and service manager Rose Gibson, Lord Ahmad and Cllr Lucinda Yeadon at the Business & IP Centre.

A council service which was re-launched earlier this year at a city library offering a wide range of support and advice to small business owners and entrepreneurs is continuing to move from strength to strength.

Based in the heart of the city centre, the Business & IP Centre at Leeds Central Library provides a free and accessible service to anyone wishing to set up, protect and grow a successful business. Visitors to the centre can also access business databases and market research reports, trade journals, directories and a wealth of other information about starting up and running a business. A programme of free workshops and 1:1 advice sessions delivered by staff and business experts on a range of topics including starting up, business planning and marketing, as well as how intellectual property can protect products, brands and designs are also available and are proving to be extremely popular.

Visiting the Business & IP Centre earlier this month was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government, Lord Ahmad, who was given a tour of what is on offer by library staff and Councillor Lucinda Yeadon. The centre highlights the potential for local entrepreneurs to take an idea and with the right support and information to create a business which thrives and grows.

The Business & IP Centre Leeds has been developed in partnership with the British Library, which has helped over 350,000 entrepreneurs to date since opening their own Business & IP Centre in 2006.

Leeds is the second city to open its Business & IP Centre, following a successful pilot in Newcastle. Centres in Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool opened this year and Sheffield will open its own Business & IP centre next year.

For more information and details regarding Leeds City Council’s Business & IP Centre on: (0113) 247 8266.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills said:

"I am pleased to say that since the launch of our Business and IP Centre at Leeds Central Library earlier in the year, we have already received some very positive feedback from small business owners and entrepreneurs in our city regarding the services on offer.

"The advice and support that is available at our business centre is fantastic, and will undoubtedly play an extremely important role in our ongoing work to both support and create business growth in Leeds.

"If you are thinking of starting a new business venture, or currently own a small company, it would be fantastic to meet you at the central library, and have a chat about what help we can provide."

Notes to editors:

Leeds Business & IP centre:

The Business & IP (Intellectual Property) Centre, Leeds is part of the Business & IP Centre network, supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs by providing access to a comprehensive collection of business information, intellectual property support, workshops, 1 to 1 advice and mentoring opportunities. A collaboration between the British Library and six Core City Libraries in England (Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, and Sheffield), the Business & IP Centre network aims to open up business resources to communities throughout the country.

The British Library:

The British Library is the national library of the UK and one of the world’s greatest libraries. Business & IP Centre, based at St Pancras in London, opened in March 2006 with the help of London Development Agency funding. Since then, it has welcomed over 350,000 people through the doors and has an excellent track record in supporting entrepreneurs and SMEs from all walks of life to start and grow businesses. The Centre provides free access to an unparalleled resource of business and intellectual property information (over £5 million worth), supplemented by one-to-one advice clinics, practical workshops and networking events, featuring ‘role model’ entrepreneurs.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk