A NEW business support network involving Worcestershire's libraries has now launched.

The Business and IP Centre (BIPC) allows county businesses to access free support and advice in the library.

The scheme has been launched at six county libraries: Bromsgrove, Evesham, Kidderminster, Malvern, Redditch and Worcester's The Hive.

Here, businesses can try out free business resources and book one-to-one sessions with a BIPC business advisor.

Each library also has a specialist BIPC officer to explain the range of support available to them.

Councillor Marc Bayliss, cabinet member for economy and skills said: "Business and IP Centre Worcestershire is a fantastic addition to the range of services provided by the county council to help our local economy to continue to grow and develop.

"Our library teams have worked hard to make it as easy as possible for anyone thinking of starting a business or wanting to take their business to the next level, to get the help they need.

"BIPC Worcestershire breaks down barriers for people who have a bright idea for a business but no idea where to start."

Cllr Matt Dormer, cabinet member for communities, said: “Our libraries teams have been working hard to expand the services that our library network offers to their local community, and this is a really great example of that.

"We’re really hoping that BIPC Worcestershire can continue the success it has had so far to help local businesses either take that first step or figure out what step to take next, and I’m looking forward to seeing the scheme continue to develop after today’s official launch.”

The six library hubs will provide dedicated, easily accessible business community spaces including PCs, desks, Wi-Fi and meeting rooms.

BIPC has worked with 220 businesses one to one, as well as supporting more than 1,200 entrepreneurs at events, workshops and a webinar series.