Friday, 21 March 2014

New business centre launched at Leeds Central Library


Caption: (L-R) - Dr Stephen Fear, entrepreneur in residence, The British Library, Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council, Bev Rice, head of Leeds City Council’s library & information service, Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills and Frances Brindle, director of audiences, The British Library.

A new service based at a popular Leeds library offering a wide range of support and advice to small business owners and entrepreneurs has been officially launched this week.

The newly refurbished Business & IP Centre at Leeds Central Library, which is based right in the heart of the city centre, will provide a free and accessible service to anyone wishing to set up, protect and grow a successful business. Visitors to the centre will be able to access business databases and market research reports, trade journals, directories and a wealth of other information about starting up and running a business. There will also be 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.

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. Other centres are set to open in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield over the next year.

Speakers at the launch included Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills Cllr Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan, Dr Stephen Fear, entrepreneur in residence at The British Library and Frances Brindles, director of audiences at The British Library.

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 leisure and skills said:
"It was fantastic to be at the launch of the new Business & IP Centre based at Leeds Central Library, which will provide a dynamic hub where small business owners and entrepreneurs in our city can access a wide range of important advice and support.

"This new centre will play an important role in both supporting and creating business growth in our city, and I would urge anyone who currently owns a small company or is thinking about starting a new venture to pop down to the Central Library and see what we have to offer."

Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council said:
"It is great news to welcome the new Business & IP Centre to Leeds, which will provide the right environment in which entrepreneurs and small businesses can access the support they need on issues like intellectual property to prosper and thrive. It's also good to have such a high quality example of the partnership between the city and the British Library, who play such an important economic role in Boston Spa."

Isabel Oswell, head of business and research audiences at The British Library said:
"Our vision is that, by 2020, there will be a network of Business & IP Centres throughout the UK working together to offer the UK’s entrepreneurs a trusted place to access vital business and intellectual property information and advice.

"Today, with the opening of the Business & IP Centre in Leeds, we are one step closer to achieving this goal and are thrilled that budding businesses in West Yorkshire will be able to benefit from this fantastic new service."

Dr Stephen Fear, entrepreneur in residence at The British Library said:
"As a city built on enterprise, Leeds has been the birth place of some of the most innovative business minds and it’s important that people understand the vital role libraries can play in the development of entrepreneurs and small businesses.

"The launch of the Business & IP Centre is a great opportunity for those in and around the city to take full advantage of its free resources and I’m sure it can help to inspire and nurture the next generation of entrepreneurial talent."

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

Business & IP Centre Leeds Newsletter March 2014


The Business & IP Centre Leeds is part of the Business and IP Centre network, supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs by providing access to a comprehensive collection of business information, intellectual property support, workshops, 1-1 advice and mentoring opportunities.  A collaboration between the British Library, the Intellectual Property Office and Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield libraries, the centres aim to inspire and support local businesses and entrepreneurs either face to face in the newly refurbished centre or via remote enquiry.

Serving the local economy
Leeds Library and Information Service has a long history of supporting the city region with their business information needs.
Last year we supported:
1000 start-ups through our Enterprise Club
160 inventors via the Inventors club
1700 business and intellectual property enquiries
240 one to one advisory sessions
8,673  face to face / phone, business and economy enquiries  


Supporting local enterprise and innovation
An example of the new partnership with the British Library is the successful series of  Inspiring Entrepreneurs events, the first of which was held in September 2013. More than 100 entrepreneurs and local businesses attended “Marketing Maestros” which featured local entrepreneur Viv Parry and a live webcast and panel discussion with founding members of Green & Blacks, King of Shaves and JoJo  Maman  Bébé.

The Centre
The Business & IP Centre Leeds provides a city centre location where people can come to find information, do research on markets, access specialist databases, network with others and access free and low-cost advice and information to help them start, develop and run their business. Knowledgeable staff are available to help and advise.

Information available includes:
Business to business mailing lists
Company reports showing credit scores, financial health, directors and competitors
Legislation
Market Research Reports
Business Information factsheets
British Standards
Guidance on protecting  your products
Guidance on how to avoid  infringing others intellectual property rights
Patent and trademark search service
Online resources available to access from home or work
Confidential consultation with specialist Business and IP Centre staff
Confidential consultations with registered CIPA patent and trade mark attorneys
Business start- up workshops
Meetings of the Leeds Inventors Group
Enterprise Club to help set up and run a successful business



 The new centre in Leeds also includes
Advisors in residence for anyone requiring specialist advice in key areas
A space to work using library computers and free internet or a place to plug in your laptop
Innovation showcase area  featuring local business successes
Dedicated networking area including a skills swap notice board.
A bookable meeting room with interactive whiteboard and laptops.