Decision details

Expansion of Sheffield Libraries Business and Intellectual Property Centre to the Sheffield City Region

Decision Maker: Executive Director, People Services

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes


Sheffield Libraries service is seeking permission to accept £704,673 of funding from the DCMS via The British Library over three years to expand its Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) regionally.


Agreed that the Executive Director of People Services:


·         approves the strategy of expanding the Sheffield Business & Intellectual Property Centre until 2023, using funding secured by the British Library from the Department for Culture Media and Sport as detailed in the report;


·         approves the Council accepting the funding of £704,673 from the British Library;


·         approves the Council entering into a Collaboration Agreement with the British Library Board; and


·         to the extent not already delegated to them by the Leader’s Scheme of Delegation, delegates authority to the Director of People Services in consultation with the Director of Finance and Commercial Services, to take any other decisions necessary in order to meet the aims and objectives of the report.

Reasons for the decision:

The British Library has secured funding from the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) to expand the Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) regionally as part of a national expansion of the network of regional BIPCs to 20. With this funding we will be able to contribute to the economy of the region by supporting businesses and entrepreneurs to grow and be successful.


Post Covid-19 there will be a need for a stronger regional economy to support employment and the proven BIPC model (ref evaluation report from 2019) and impact with women and people from BAME backgrounds will play an important part.


The funding enables recruitment to roles which will work regionally and build partnerships with other South Yorkshire Libraries and business support organisations.


Delivery of this project and its benefits to help businesses survive and thrive will enhance Sheffield Library’s position as a support to both the people of Sheffield and the region and thus enhance its reputation regionally and nationally

Alternative options considered:

Alternative Option 1 – Not accept the funding


The Council could choose not to accept the funding, this would mean that the Council is not able to expand the offer at the Business and IP centre and our services will remain at our current level i.e. a single BIPC based in Sheffield Central Library, providing fewer databases and with less dedicated staff support.


In this scenario we are less able to help businesses in the region, meaning that there is likely to be economic damage to the area. There is also a significant risk of reputational damage to Sheffield City Council with both the British Library, who the library service currently benefits from very good relations, and DCMS.

Publication date: 03/12/2020

Date of decision: 03/12/2020

Effective from: 10/12/2020

Accompanying Documents: