The Library of Birmingham’s role in supporting innovation and creativity was praised during a visit by the Government’s arts minister.

During a tour of the iconic venue, John Glen MP, heard how the library is a centre of excellence for literacy, research, creativity and entrepreneurship

Mr Glen visited the library’s Business, Learning and Intellectual Property Centre, which provides support for entrepreneurs and inventors, including free legal advice on how to protect and develop their ideas.

Last month the Library of Birmingham secured funding from Enterprise for Success, which will enable its business support and advice services to be expanded in community libraries across the city.

The arts minister was also shown the Shakespeare Memorial Room, which houses part of the city’s Shakespeare collection – the world’s largest in a public library - before moving onto Archives – which received its National Archive accreditation this week.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism John Glen said: "Libraries are so important to local communities, not only as places for people to access books and technology, but where they can also learn new skills. The Library of Birmingham is a great example of this and I have been very impressed with the services available to support local entrepreneurs and inventors."

Cllr Brigid Jones, deputy leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “The Library of Birmingham is one the city’s iconic cultural institutions, so this was a great opportunity to show the minister around this world-class library."

Last year the Library of Birmingham welcomed more than 1.6 million visitors through its doors, making it the busiest public library in the UK.