Barclays has today announced the bank will launch its first Eagle Lab in Manchester City Centre – a space for ambitious entrepreneurs to scale and grow their business and receive advice from dedicated Barclays experts.
The flagship Manchester Eagle Lab will be located in Bruntwood’s Union building in Albert Square, and is set to open later this year.
Eagle Labs are co-working and innovation spaces set up by Barclays to help businesses network, collaborate and grow. There are seventeen Eagle Labs across the UK, with Barclays staff on site offering entrepreneurs advice on how to grow their business, from access to funding, to mentoring and events.
Situated at the heart of Manchester’s financial core, Union has recently undergone a £5m transformation to offer high-quality workspace and offers businesses a prime location opposite Manchester Town Hall.
By creating a dedicated space to allow entrepreneurs to connect, build relationships, and support one another, Eagle Labs and Bruntwood are helping to stimulate and accelerate the Manchester economy.
The 12,000 square foot Lab will be laid out over two floors with a coffee shop which will be open to the public, an 80-seat auditorium, co-working and breakout space at street level and a combination of private offices, meeting rooms and breakout spaces on the first floor.
The launch of the Manchester Eagle Lab follows the creation in April this year of a new business unit at Barclays called Barclays UK Ventures. BUK Ventures is focused on the identification, incubation and scaling of potentially transformational new business lines and new business models for Barclays, and is responsible for growing the Eagle Lab network.
Ben Davey, CEO of Barclays UK Ventures said: “Manchester has thrived on a spirit of innovation and industry - a spirit that led to the development of the world’s first programmable computer. Technology is now transforming the speed at which start-ups can grow and scale and by providing world class space and practical resources alongside our financial and business expertise, our mission is to help individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses to innovate, network and ultimately succeed.
“We recognise the importance of supporting entrepreneurs, start-ups and accelerating high-growth companies, and the vital role they play in creating a sustainable, prosperous Manchester economy.”
Andrew Butterworth, Sales Director, Bruntwood said: “Outstanding locations and facilities that enable collaboration and open innovation are important ingredients for business growth and we’re delighted to be welcoming the flagship Manchester Eagle Lab to Union.
“Creating flexible, comfortable spaces where innovation and entrepreneurship are supported and nurtured is key to the long-term success of the regional economy and sits at the heart of Bruntwood’s vision for our buildings.
“We know that Manchester’s small and medium sized enterprises will generate a staggering £12bn annually for the city’s economy by 2020 and programmes like Barclays’ Eagle Labs play a valuable role in boosting these ambitious businesses and giving them the tools and support they need to take the next steps in growing and developing their businesses.”
The Lab will be supported by a dedicated Ecosystem Manager and Barclays High Growth Business Manager who will provide help and advice to local companies and entrepreneurs from across the City.
Barclays has a substantial commitment to the North of England, employing around 12,000 people in high quality jobs across the region, including nearly 1,000 apprentices in branches, contact centres and technology roles. The bank also provides some of the country’s leading technology jobs at its Radbroke Park Centre in Knutsford, Cheshire, where colleagues include commuters from Manchester.
Barclays recently launched a new £500m growth fund* for small and medium-sized (SME) businesses in the North of England. The Barclays fund is intended for SMEs in the Northern Powerhouse region, including: established businesses with ambitious growth plans, start-ups with high growth potential, companies with early-stage equity funding and businesses focusing on innovation, R&D and technology4.