Barclays Bank is bringing its Eagle Labs accelerator programme to Newcastle after signing a collaboration deal with a Chinese science park in the city.
Speaking at the launch of TusPark Newcastle , officials from Barclays revealed that the bank is set launch an Eagle Lab in the facility on Grainger Street.
Barclays currently runs 14 Eagle Labs across the country but has never previously opened one in the North East. The focus of each lab is to help businesses scale up by offering access to mentors and advice in areas such as business planning, marketing, and product design.
The programme also provides opportunities for “reverse mentoring” where small businesses are given the chance to show how their ideas can benefit large corporations, as well as providing digital training to the community.
Speaking at the TusPark launch event Chris Forrest, head of Barclays Business Bank UK, said: “We are working very closely with TusPark to bring one of our Eagle Labs here to Newcastle, which work to support scale up businesses here in the UK.
“Through the labs we are 100% committed to transforming the digital landscape of the UK. It is overdue to bring one of the labs to Newcastle.
“Let’s face it, Tus could have gone to any other location to set up what they have here, but they didn’t, they came to Newcastle.”
The accelerator is being launched in collaboration with TusPark, which recently opened its first UK science and technology centre in Newcastle.
TusPark - which originally spun out of China’s Tsinghua University - is one of the world’s biggest operators of business parks in the world. Since opening its first UK office in Newcastle the organisation has already made waves in the business community after launching a scale-up programme designed to help UK firms expand into the Chinese market.
A number of tech businesses will now have a base at the science park at Maybrook House, on Grainger Street, including WifiPlug, Skriware, Beeline, Study Atlas, Equiwatt, and Plan Digital.
Among the speakers at the office’s official launch was Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, who explained the importance of having TusPark in the city.
Mr Forbes said: “Newcastle is a city which is really going places. TusPark’s arrival here is a symbol of the journey Newcastle is on as a city.
“Newcastle is a city which is no stranger to innovation, we know that innovation runs through our DNA. This was the place the steam locomotive was invented, the electric lightbulb was invented, and there will be many of these inventions shown at the Great Exhibition of the North later this year.
“It is not just the innovation in the past which is important, it’s about showing the innovation which is shaping our societies and economies today and will do so in the future. We share this vision that Newcastle should be at the heart of these industries.
“We are a city that can craft, collaborate, and code the future, and science and technology sits at the heart of our vision.”
Mr Forbes said that Newcastle should strive to be in the “Premier League of UK cities” and believed the North of Tyne devolution deal was one way he was hoping to achieve that aim.
(Article from Chronicle Live, 9 May 2018)