Barclays to offer digital labs to businesses and entrepreneurs
Barclays is to offer hi-tech equipment in labs for businesses and entrepreneurs. The labs will provide 3D printers, laser cutters and “incubators” for high-growth companies.
Businesses and entrepreneurs will also be able to receive mentoring and have access to meeting rooms, cybercrime awareness events and workshops. There will also be computer coding classes for local schoolchildren.
Barclays UK Chief Executive, Ashok Vaswani, said that “all businesses are, at some level, struggling with the digital revolution” and that Barclays is providing space where they can “come in and free their thinking.”
He discussed the digital equipment that will be available to businesses, stating that a 3D printer, for example, will help people to “turn a clever idea into a business success overnight.”
The labs will feature in some of the company’s branches that are closed. The first “Eagle Lab” has been launched in an old branch in Brighton after the company piloted the labs in Bournemouth and Cambridge. Some will feature above branches that are still operating and in locations where Barclays has a lease.
John Beesley, leader of Bournemouth Borough Council, described the early stages of the project as “encouraging”, adding that the company’s aim is for many local people, businesses and entrepreneurs to use this facility.
The company is planning to launch up to 20 labs this year. Each lab will differ in design and will be created to suit the needs of local businesses and communities.