Libraries that help local people set up their own business have been given a £650,000 funding boost.
Enterprising Libraries will be given the extra cash to help support entrepreneurs by offering coaching, meeting spaces and help with developing a business proposal.
Communities secretary Eric Pickles said: ‘Local communities are untapped business resources – filled with capable and bright individuals who just need a helping hand.
‘By extending the Enterprising Libraries funding today, we can help grow Britain’s ever expanding pool of entrepreneurial talent and ensuring that local economic growth is supported across the country.’
The £1.2m programme was launched by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), Arts Council England and the British Library in 2013, and is now across 16 libraries.
Research has shown they have a strong record for attracting hard to reach communities, with 10% of participants currently unemployed, and 38% from black and minority ethnic groups.