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Three Northumberland libraries welcome ‘BIPC Local’ free information service offering to provide support to the local business community

Business & Intellectual Property Centre North East (BIPC) is delighted to announce that three libraries across Northumberland including; Hexham, Morpeth and Berwick will house a ‘BIPC Local’, a free information services offer that will provide support to the local business community, from Wednesday 18th August.

Published: 01 September 2021

The new centres will provide local businesses and anyone looking to set-up a new business in and around the Northumberland area with free access to on-site business databases and the latest market research information. Customers will also have access to BIPC North-East’s regional advice and support services and can find out more about other business support available in Northumberland.

BIPC North East was originally established in 2011 as BIPC Newcastle. This was the country’s first regional Business & IP Centre, outside of London, providing a service for the North East  business community. Over the past 10 years, BIPC Newcastle has supported over 14,000 new-starts and growing businesses. During the last 12 months, BIPC Newcastle has played a key role in helping over 300 SMEs to safeguard around 600 jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Building upon the success of the last 10 years and as part of the British Library’s national network expansion, BIPC Newcastle has recently rebranded as BIPC North East and is now extending out to six new locations known as ‘BIPC Locals’. Out of the six locations, three of the BIPC Locals will be based across the Northumberland area including Morpeth, Hexham, and Berwick libraries.

The new centres have arrived at an opportune time and will play a key role to provide further support to local businesses, aspiring start -ups as well as provide further opportunities of support for more rural based businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each BIPC Local has its own dedicated suite for business support including private meeting spaces for local business organisations to use. The centres are equipped with a core set of resources, such as up to date market research and business information enabling rural businesses to tap into new market sectors and access for free the latest market research and trends, company data, and funding opportunities from a variety of online databases, including COBRA, Kompass and GRANTfinder. The BIPC North East team will also be on hand to offer local businesses initial information and guidance on Intellectual Property (IP) matters, as well as provide a sound understanding of the different types of IP protection available.

The services will be brought to life by a tailored and highly individual programme of events, workshops, and one-to-ones, delivered in collaboration by local partners. BIPC North East has a team of over 30 Experts in Residence, who derive from a wide variety of business sectors. These Experts mainly come from small businesses themselves and provide a free one-to-one advice session on their specialist topic.

Cllr Jeff Watson, Cabinet Member responsible for Libraries at Northumberland County Council, said: "We are delighted to welcome the new BIPC North East centres across Hexham, Morpeth and Berwick libraries.

“These new centres form part of a national network, delivered in libraries across the country, providing business advice and support to local entrepreneurs to start and grow their business.

“As we continue our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic we are doing all we can to encourage new businesses and help existing ones to grow and these centres will play a key role for those seeking support and access with employment and skills.”

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