19 Nov 2020

Leeds Libraries and the British Library join forces to support small businesses across the city

Libraries Business support Coronavirus

Leeds Libraries, part of Leeds City Council, has partnered with the British Library to deliver Reset. Restart, a six-month programme to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) transform, future-proof and grow their business through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reset. Restart is open to all UK business owners and offers practical, jargon-free training and advice through a free, tailored national programme delivered by the British Library, with localised support available from BIPC Leeds, part of Leeds Libraries.

The national programme is made up of 10 monthly webinars on topics including opportunities in the ‘new normal’, product and service innovation, marketing, finance and new business models. The programme runs alongside the free services provided by BIPC Leeds, one of 14 regional centres in the British Library’s BIPC Network.

The centre offers free and low-cost access to business intelligence, market research, 1-1s, training and IP support to aspiring entrepreneurs, start-ups and more established SMEs in Leeds.

BIPC Leeds has a proven track record of helping to create successful small businesses with strong survival rates and of supporting under-represented entrepreneurs in Leeds. A recent independent report released by the British Library showed that BIPC Leeds has helped to create over 1,127 new businesses in just three years.

Following a major government investment of £13million, the British Library is set to expand the BIPC Network from 14 to 22 regional centres in England and Scotland by 2023, with a further 90 local centres across the network.

As part of this investment, Leeds Libraries has received funding to develop and extend its existing regional service to support partner library services across West Yorkshire in Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield. Leeds Libraries will work with these local partner libraries to develop the BIPC service within their authority in order to re-build confidence and support businesses to recover from COVID-19.

Reset Restart and the Business & IP Centre expansion form a key part of Living Knowledge: For Everyone, the British Library’s new strategic statement of how it will work in the coming months and years to support economic, social and cultural renewal in the face of the pandemic’s extraordinary impact.

In addition to the Reset. Restart programme, Leeds Libraries will also be joining in the BIPC network’s annual Start-Up Day today (19 November). The day is full of free talks and practical advice sessions designed to support those with a business idea get off to a flying start.

Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council's executive member for communities, said:

“I’m delighted that Leeds Libraries will be playing a major part in supporting businesses and entrepreneurs across Leeds and West Yorkshire to develop the skills and confidence they need to start and grow successful businesses. 

“We will be running this programme over the next six months to arm people with the right information and networks to rebuild and adapt their business models and become more agile.”

Libraries Minister, Caroline Dinenage, said: "The Reset. Restart scheme from the British Library will provide the practical help and skills that entrepreneurs need to recover from the impact of coronavirus and grow successful businesses. Thanks to our £13 million investment in the network, more businesses, jobs and local economies across the country can benefit from the invaluable expert advice available through this fantastic institution."

Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library, said: “As it becomes increasingly clear that Covid-19 is a long-term challenge to the way we all live and work, the British Library has redoubled its commitment to ensuring that all entrepreneurs and SMEs in the UK can access the skills and information needed to adapt and flourish. We are delighted to join with our public library partners to launch Reset. Restart and provide tailored, sustained support not only to our national SME community, but to every business owner affected by the current crisis. At a time when entrepreneurs face an unprecedented array of challenges, whether rewriting their entire business model, marketing to a new audience or building a digital space, our goal is to ensure that the path to transformation and renewal is accessible to all.”

For details and to book on to the Reset. Restart programme, visit: https://www.bl.uk/events/reset-restart or www.bipcleeds.eventbrite.co.uk


The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website - www.bl.uk - every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.

 Business & IP Centre National Network

The first Business & IP Centre opened at the British Library in March 2006 with the help of London Development Agency funding. Since then, it has welcomed over one million people through the doors, scaled up to over a dozen regional Centres located in major libraries across the UK and helped to create tens of thousands of new businesses and jobs. The Network supports entrepreneurs and SMEs from all walks of life to start, protect and grow businesses. Resources on offer include intellectual property advice and access to high value databases, including global company and financial information, and market research reports worth over £5 million. Visitors also have access to a free and low-cost programme of workshops, one-to-ones, networking events and inspiring talks from high-profile entrepreneurs screened from the British Library. In March 2020, the British Library secured a major government investment of £13million to expand the Business & IP Centre Network to 22 regional Centres in England and Scotland by 2023, with a further 90 local Centres in towns, villages and rural communities.

For media enquiries contact:

Leeds City Council Communications team