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Gloucestershire Business News

New Innovation Lab to be launched by Gloucestershire Libraries

A new space will be opened at Gloucester library later this month, with the latest digital design equipment and technical expertise to boost skills and support employment.

From Tuesday September 28, Gloucester will be the second library in the county to have a dedicated space to offer access to creative technology and training in digital skills, following the launch of the first Innovation Lab in Coleford in July 2019.

This successful pilot lab has worked with schools, businesses and the local community to support digital skills development and drive aspiration in young people.

The Coleford lab, as well as the new one at Gloucester library, has been funded by Gloucestershire's Local Enterprise Partnership, GFirst LEP, as part of its Growth Hub network expansion.

The creative community space offers access to advanced technology, including virtual reality headsets, 3D modelling and printing and a digital design studio, plus an experienced technician to advise, train and inspire.

The Gloucester lab offers a membership scheme for individuals, businesses and students, where induction sessions are followed by dedicated time with the equipment and technical support. They will also have the opportunity to make connections with other members and be part of a growing creative community.

Cllr Dave Norman, Gloucestershire County Council cabinet member for libraries, said: "The growing lab network will focus on supporting those most affected by the pandemic - small businesses, creatives and artists, job seekers and young people.

"We would welcome further partners from the Gloucester business community and education sector to work with us, so please get in touch if you're interested in getting involved in this exciting project."

Jane Everiss, head of library services at Gloucestershire County Council, said: "Both the Coleford and Gloucester labs can support a wide range of creative individuals and businesses to take their own ideas to the next level using digital technology.

"The labs are a valuable part of the library service - offering inspiration for young people, students and businesses, with the opportunity to develop skills in the heart of their local community."

To make an appointment at the Coleford or Gloucester Innovation Lab, email the lab team at info@innovationlabnetwork.com.

If you are interested in finding out more about the project and working with the team as a business, future lab technician or partner, email debbie.harris@gloucestershire.gov.uk.

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