Barclays to offer unused space to entrepreneurs and community groups

Posted on by Offices.org.uk

UNDER-utilised spaces in the offices and branches of Barclays to be made available to local businesses and communities.

The Eagle Labs initiative will see the space made available to customers and non-customers to help boost the UK’s digital and ‘maker’ skills, the bank says.

Incubator spaces are aimed at entrepreneurs and high growth firms projecting 20% growth to allow them to collaborate and receive mentoring from Barclays industry experts.

‘Maker’ spaces will give people access to tools like 3D printers and laser cutters as well as training sessions.

Barclays is opening its third Eagle Lab this week in Brighton following successful pilots in Bournemouth and Cambridge. The bank says aims to have opened up to 20 such sites by the end of this year.

Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays UK, commented: “Bankers have traditionally been at the heart of the community, supporting people with their finances, and helping local businesses to grow. Our Eagle Labs initiative is reaffirming that core community role by enabling people to embrace new and emerging technology. We are passionate about helping individuals build digital skills and confidence which is key to helping the UK to thrive in this digital age. The roll out of Eagle Labs is a natural extension of our work to support this aim through our Digital Eagles, Tea & Teach and coding sessions.”

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “The digital economy is moving at a tremendous pace – digital industries are growing at a rate of 32 per cent faster than the wider economy, and contribute around £161bn a year for the UK. The need for digital skills has never been greater, and Barclays Eagle Labs is a fantastic initiative that offers incredibly helpful guidance, support and advice to local communities and businesses.”

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