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Barclays Eagle Lab in partnership with Legal & General helping Welsh entrepreneurs soar to success

‘Barclays Eagle Lab’ in partnership with Legal & General has officially opened a new 6,500ft2, incubator facility. Located at Brunel House, the Cardiff Eagle Lab will give the South Wales start-up and scale-up communities a crucial boost.

Cardiff is one of 14 Eagle Labs Barclays has opened, after success in locations such as Salford, London and Edinburgh.

The 120 seat co-working site, will be the home to high growth businesses with access to Maker Space facilities supporting rapid prototyping and product development. With occupancy rates already above 30% prior to the official opening, including local companies such as Sure Chill, the Digital Maverick and home to the IoT Accelerator Wales, demand is already proving strong for this cutting edge facility.

Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays UK Banking said, “The Barclays Eagle Lab business incubator has been successfully launched in 13 other major cities across the UK, some by regenerating unused Barclays premises; and others by partnering in the regeneration of city buildings.

Our investment will bring benefits far beyond a shared workspace and much further afield than Cardiff.  This new Barclays Eagle Lab in the heart of Cardiff will help Welsh entrepreneurial companies to scale up and accelerate their growth locally and into international markets.

We recognize the importance of supporting entrepreneurs, start-ups and accelerating high growth companies, and the vital role they play in creating a sustainable, prosperous Welsh economy.”

The space at Brunel House, will be specifically designed around the needs of local entrepreneurs, businesses and communities and tailored to suit Wales’ strength in high tech digital and IoT (Internet of Things) innovation. Technical partner RS Components will be providing a range of equipment and development platforms such as a LoRaWAN and Sigfox base station to support IoT product testing and access to digital fabrication tools such as rapid prototyping facilities including 3D printers and laser cutting equipment and educational workshops along with access to their DesignSpark community.

Richard Curtin, VP of Strategic Alliances at RS, said: “We are hugely excited to have formed a partnership with Barclays Eagle Labs. RS wants to inspire the next generation of engineers and encourage inventors and makers to create great things using the latest technology. The collaboration with the Eagle Lab in Cardiff means we can support communities directly with both RS products and DesignSpark content and tools. We also want to help people realise their inventions quickly through the RS Local innovation centres and being part of this initiative means we are perfectly placed to do that.” 

Nigel Wilson, CEO, Legal & General said, “Investing in start-up businesses lies at the heart of Legal & General’s strategy helping accelerate and grow new companies of the future. This joint venture with Barclays based in our office in Cardiff, is another example of how we are actively supporting individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses to innovate and expand their digital and technological capability.”

Nigel Saunders, CEO at Sure Chill based at the Cardiff Eagle Lab said “Sure Chill is a fast growing company with a groundbreaking technology that is changing the way people cool around the world. Currently in a stage of rapid growth, we needed a location that was agile enough to suit our expansion, yet with state of the art facilities to continue our innovative product development. With collaboration, innovation, and flexibility at its core, we quickly decided Barclays Eagle Lab was an ideal home for us. Barclays has also added great value by providing introductions to their extensive list of contacts and connections.”

The Labs are supported by a dedicated Eco-System Manager, Lab Technician and a Barclays Business Manager on site to provide help and advice to local companies and entrepreneurs from across South Wales. The Eagle Lab will also act as the Cardiff base for Barclays’ Digital Eagles community activity.