Business & IP Centre Devon

BIPC Devon Launches New Hubs in Seaton and Okehampton Libraries

BIPC Devon joins forces with the British Library to roll-out small business support to Okehampton and Seaton Libraries to Turbocharge the Local Economy!


On the 23rd and 24th of November BIPC Devon launched two brand new Business & IP Centres at Seaton and Okehampton Libraries, to offer free and accessible advice to support local business owners, entrepreneurs, and inventors. This investment from the British Library, follows on from the successful expansion of the BIPC network to Paignton Library in 2021, building on the proven support already available at the existing BIPC Devon hubs in Exeter and Barnstaple.  



Alex Kittow, Chief Executive, Libraries Unlimited,  “It’s a really exciting time to be an entrepreneur in Devon with all the business support available from BIPC Devon.

There are now a total of five BIPC hubs covering the whole of Devon, serving both rural, town and city communities. The continued expansion of the BIPC network, funded by the British Library, into Okehampton and Seaton, enables Libraries Unlimited to offer a wealth of free business information and support throughout our network of 54 Libraries across Devon and Torbay.”

The new centres are equipped with a core set of resources, such as up-to-date market research and business databases, provided by the British Library. And will be brought to life by BIPC Devon’s tailored and highly individualised programme of events, networking opportunities, workshops and one-to-ones. Delivered in collaboration with local business leaders, role model entrepreneurs and community partners including Petroc College, Natwest Enterprise, Exeter City of Literature, Place 2 Be, Exeter College and many more! 

Carole Cornwall, Okehampton Library Centre Manager says. “Okehampton has a fantastic and highly engaged small business community. The expansion of the BIPC network into the Okehampton library will enable us to offer support to entrepreneurs and business owners in ways that have historically been less accessible within rural communities. We are very much looking forward to the part that the BIPC Okehampton Hub can play in supporting entrepreneurs and boosting our local economy!” 


This comes as part of a wider national expansion of library-based business support from 14 BIPCs to over 100 regional and local Centres across England, thanks to £ 13 million in government funding awarded to the British Library. 

The BIPC network has a notably strong record of accomplishment of supporting people from all walks of life to start, protect and grow a successful business. Since 2017 it has: 


  • Supported the creation of over 12,000 new businesses 
  • Led to the creation of over 7,800 new jobs 
  • Generated an extra £78million GVA to the UK economy 
  • Created businesses twice as likely to succeed beyond three years 

Business & IP Centres can open the path to entrepreneurship for anyone with a business idea, regardless of their background. Consistently, over two-thirds of those who use BIPC Devon to set up or grow a business are women and, nationally, a third are from under-represented ethnic backgrounds. More than triple the national averages for business ownership in the UK, this diverse user base speaks to the accessibility and community-based ethos of this library-based support.  


Richard Love, BIPC Devon Marketing & Engagement Manager, Thanks to investment from The British Library through Libraries Unlimited, the new BIPC centres in Seaton and Okehampton will add a new dimension of business support to start-ups and pre-startups within East Devon and the rural community in and around Okehampton. The new centres will bring regular sessions with our IP specialists, access to the largest collection of Business and Research Databases in the South West and great advice through workshops and one-to-one’s with our variety of business experts. All provided free of charge to the budding entrepreneurs of Seaton and Okehampton.” 


To book a free business support one-to-one, or utilise any of the BIPC services pop into the library or email


By Isabel Flynn

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