A SUPPORT centre for local entrepreneurs, inventors and small businesses has opened at Library @ the Lightbox in the town centre.

The centre was opened on Friday by Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) South Yorkshire and is said to offer support for businesses from the 'first spark of inspiration to successfully launching and developing a business'.

Within the first three years of the Sheffield BIPC centre opening, it helped create almost 400 businesses, 320 additional jobs and generated £2.8m gross added value for the region.

Sophie Heaton, business engagement and marketing manager at BIPC South Yorkshire, said: “We’re on a mission to ensure libraries, as the heart of the community, are a core part of the business support offering across South Yorkshire.

“We’re passionate about supporting both new and existing businesses to gain the background knowledge and information they need before getting going on their new business venture.

“After months of hard work, we’re excited to be opening our new BIPC local in Barnsley’s Library @ the Lightbox.

“We now offer our services to a much wider audience across the region and can’t wait to see how we can help support the region and the economy thrive.”

The Barnsley centre is equipped with £5m worth of up-to-date market research and business databases which businesses will be supported to use.

Coun Jenny Platts, cabinet spokesperson for adults and communities, said: “This is a fantastic addition to Library @ the Lightbox, and we are happy to be working with Sheffield Libraries and the British Library to bring this centre to our local entrepreneurs and developing businesses.

“We believe that with the already existing support from the Enterprising Barnsley, this will be another great service helping to start and develop more businesses and create additional jobs in our borough.”