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Celebrating One Year of BIPC Tees Valley

As the BIPC Tees Valley celebrates its first birthday, we find out more about the centre's plans for the future.

Maria Lannon with Elaine Wood

Maria Lannon with Elaine Wood

The Business & IP Centre (BIPC) Tees Valley is celebrating one year of supporting the local business community. Now firmly embedded as a trusted part of the business support landscape across the region, the team are proud to reflect on their service and some of the fabulous businesses and partners they have worked with to date. 

Working across the Tees Valley the BIPC has supported nearly 700 entrepreneurs and business owners since opening their doors a year ago. Delivered in partnership with the British Library and the Intellectual Property Office, the BIPC Tees Valley team have developed an innovative offer for local businesses through bespoke individual support, leading business resources, events and workshops via the existing library network.  

Business Engagement and Marketing Manager of the BIPC Tees Valley, Paul Swalwell, is keen to point out the benefits the service has brought to the region. He said: "We have had a great first year. Being able to support so many individuals develop their business ambitions has been a privilege. Every day we speak to businesses that want to grow their business in the Tees Valley and their enthusiasm about our area is contagious." 

"The fact that we have so many people utilising the service shows that our region's enterprising spirit is strong and that people value the expertise and accessible support available to them." 

As part of a National Network of 22 regional Business & IP Centres, the BIPC Tees Valley builds on the experience and expertise of the wider network including the BIPC Leeds City Region and the BIPC North East. The most recent economic impact assessment demonstrates the value of the network to the local economy with £6.95 being returned to the economy for every £1 invested in the service. 

Officially opened by the Mayor of Stockton-on-Tees, Cllr Kevin Faulks, the regional hub in Stockton Central Library is now a thriving community for entrepreneurs, business leaders and inventors to meet and benefit from bespoke support. 

One such business that has benefited from the support of the BIPC is Elaine Wood, owner of craft business Goldy and The Wizard. Elaine said: "Prior to meeting with the BIPC Tees Valley I had no idea what support was available to help local small businesses. I hadn't really thought about my future plans for the business or how I saw my business developing - I was just planning each day/week without any thought of making a business plan or where I saw my business in a years' time, 5 years' time. Now I feel like I have clarity about how I want my business to grow and develop and I'm pretty sure that wouldn't have happened any time soon without their help." 

Matthew Jones is BIPC Tees Valley's Business Information Specialist based at Stockton Central Library. Matthew said: "We are always listening to our customer's feedback. We value what they say and try to address their needs wherever we can. That can be looking at supporting new market development research, looking for funding opportunities, delivering a workshop or simply advising a business owner on how best to protect their intellectual property rights." 

The future looks bright for the service with new clients benefiting from the service every day. The BIPC Tees Valley will also be working with partners such as the Federation of Small Businesses to deliver upcoming networking events at BIPC Tees Valley locations and supporting the Darlington Business Summit later this autumn.