Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone is now ready and equipped to help businesses with advice and support they need to succeed.

Kent Libraries’ Business & IP Centre (BIPC Kent), which is part of the British Library’s national network of similar centres across the country, is now open for start-up businesses, small-to-medium businesses, inventors, and anyone with a business idea.

Outside of the Kent History and Library Centre, Maidstone

BIPC Kent is offering insights and access to free resources, training, and events. Visitors can also book free one-to-one consultation sessions with their business and IP specialist, Tito Shokunbi, to receive expert advice on how to start or grow a business.

From understanding the vital role of trademarks and patents to business research on customers, markets, and industries, plus workshops to develop practical skills in business, the Kent Business and IP Centre can provide the help and support that small businesses and entrepreneurs around Kent often need.

As part of the British Library’s expansion of its national network of Business & IP Centres, government funding has been committed towards the refurbishment of part of Kent History and Library Centre; adding the BIPC Kent’s pod, additional seating, business reference books, and more, all to provide the best possible opportunity to the business community in Kent.

Picture of the BIPC Kent Hub, which is similar to a boxed room with a glass front, so you can see inside and slacks and chairs along the side.

Later in the year, additional BIPC Kent locations, known as “BIPC Locals”, will be created around the county.

Mike Hill, KCC’s Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, said:

“I am delighted to see Kent History and Library Centre included in this initiative by the British Library. BIPC Kent is now up and running, offering valuable support to the county’s many entrepreneurs who need a little help and advice to make sure their businesses have the best chance of success.”

Liz Jolly, Chief Librarian at the British Library, said: “At their heart, libraries are trusted spaces with professional staff who have a mission to connect people with information. From Glasgow to Brighton, our BIPC Network harnesses the power of libraries, bringing in expertise from the local community to help people from all walks of life turn an idea into a successful business.

“We are delighted to mark this next chapter in the Network’s journey, growing from 14 to more than 100 new regional and local centres across England, with a longer term ambition to expand across the UK.

“Our mission is to put business support in every library, but we’re also learning lessons from the past year, by making sure more and more of our business and IP workshops, events and one-to-ones are open to everyone online.”