Internet giant Google to launch new business base at Library of Birmingham

Technology giant Google is setting up base at the Library of Birmingham as plans gain pace to build a new future for the £189 million building.

The international company has chosen the landmark Centenary Square building for a groundbreaking initiative working with businesses called Google Digital Garages.

Part of the library, which recently had its hours slashed with the council struggling to pay for it, will be given up for a new area offering training for small and medium-sized businesses with the digital skills they need to thrive.

So I don’t entirely know what this means, but it has to be good, right?


I’d rather they’d saved Central Library and used the excess space to encourage entrepreneurial startups. I think the Google directors have the vision to see what Madin’s building could be.

I foresee this being a trojan mouse into BCC IT systems.

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Haha we see the world in such different ways @woo :smiley:

Totally glad Google are not saving the abominable Central Library (its in the wrong place and the space inside is not actually usable)!

(This comes from someone who lives in an John Madin house and so thinks his work has value, it would be great to clean it, maybe if it was built out of higher quality concrete, turn it into an art museum or something and relocate it in an empty car park somewhere in Digbeth but as that would be impossibly expensive its best to wright it off as a bad job…IMO)

And believe me BCC would be better off with Google Apps than Windows Exchange managed by Crapita.

Sadly Google are likely not very interested…

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That’s pretty cool. Maybe Skeet could pop in for a talk or something :slight_smile:

Google have got very excited about winning smaller cities and government departments.

Cathedrals have a lot of space too. Like them, Central Library wasn’t designed to have shop-fronts in. Have you seen the amazing photographs of the internal spaces?

I may have given the wrong impression. I’d rather the council spread it’s business around the local economy rather than being dependent on Microsoft & Capita too. I’m very pleased to see another major company like Google coming to Birmingham but I’m slightly suspicious of any company with ambitions of world domination. I think you get a healthier eco-system through biodiversity, despite the attraction of the one-stop-shop. Neither IBM nor Microsoft dominance was good for computing. Capitalism works best for customers in fair, competitive markets.

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Noticed this under construction when I was in the library yesterday. Looks pretty cool. I don’t think it’s occupying space that wasn’t already mostly empty, the place is quite airy in general. I like the idea personally.

This was on TV this evening. They call it a garage and it’s offering free advice to local businesses, but only until the end of the year. They interviewed business people in the JQ who said they didn’t know how to get help with IT. I suspect the fact that it’s free would be difficult to compete with though.

Are there local companies that would run IT services for a jewellery shop? What about a network linking the businesses that provide specialist services to each other? Do Google have an app for that?

More news on the Capita contract

“That is the way Birmingham City Council has been able to go from 23,000 to 13,000 employees - it isn’t easy.”

No? I’d like to see this costed, including the loss of tax revenue and extra costs of increased unemployment.

There’s some appalling journalism though: “More than Wayne Rooney” but for 700 people.

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translation: get signed up to Google Apps for Business.

Have you been? I forgot to call in when I was in town. Would I have needed a suit to be taken seriously?

If I wasn’t paranoid about Google becoming the next Microsoft and I actually used office software, I might be persuaded rather than work out why my Thunderbird is broken.

£50 pa seems a good price but it smells of ‘loss leader’.

I’ve not been, sorry - just a pot-shot Google snark from me as usual. :slight_smile:

It’s what the government would call a ‘legitimate target’.

Though, to give them the benefit of the doubt, I’m pleased to see them alongside Mozilla supporting WebRTC, to make up for replacing XMPP Google Talk with Hangouts, even if I suspect they see it as a short-term tactic to look more open than Apple, FaceBook & Microsoft.

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I took myself into the Garage for a quick service. There were a couple of desks with a Google logo above them. I think you make an appointment for a session, like with an Apple ‘Genius’ so I didn’t water their time.

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