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Libraries ready to grow and support businesses


Gloucestershire Library service has been selected as a key partner in the future of growing businesses across the county as part of the expanding Growth Hub.

The Growth Hub is a partnership between the University of Gloucestershire and GFirst LEP, which aims to help businesses across the county to grow and be successful. The hub is a point of contact for businesses that are looking for information, knowledge and experience they need to grow.

Gloucestershire County Council's library service joining the partnership means more Growth Hubs will be available across the county, in the heart of local communities.

All 31 Gloucestershire Libraries will provide impartial business advice and guidance and signposting customers seeking specialist business advice to the most appropriate resource.

Libraries cover the whole county and attract 2.2 million visits a year, from around 100,000 people. All libraries have free public Wi Fi and computers and the council is committed to extending digital access. Two libraries are having improvements made to include gadget bars, interactive screens and tables aimed at enhancing customer experience.

Sarah Danson, Senior Project Manager of the Growth Hub Network at GFirst LEP, said: "We're really excited to see the Network starting to take shape, after a great response from interested partners to help us strengthen and grow the Growth Hub, and its services.

Giving businesses greater opportunities to access the best type of tailored support for their needs with widespread physical locations, supported by a comprehensive online Growth Hub, will ensure that Gloucestershire's businesses have access to the best solutions available in the county."

Cllr Andrew Gravells, cabinet member for public health, communities and libraries, said: "I am really excited that our Library service has been selected as a Growth Hub partner and is going to be able to support businesses across the county in this innovative way.

"Libraries have always played a key role in supporting local communities and people, and with free wifi, bookable computers and excellent staff around to help, our libraries are now  all set to play a significant role in the local business community as well. I really welcome this initiative."

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