Barclays and Avenue HQ have officially launched their new digital and tech incubator in Leeds. Avenue HQ supported by Barclays Eagle Labs is a space specifically designed for businesses and ambitious entrepreneurs to scale quickly.
Located at East Parade, Leeds, the incubator marks the second partnership between Avenue HQ and Barclays, following the success of their first site in Liverpool.
The Leeds Lab can accommodate over 300 businesses and provides a combination of co-working and private offices, giving businesses the space to grow and expand. Split across five floors, there are also large event spaces and several meeting rooms available to members, as well as a coffee shop and a rooftop bar, both open to the public.
In addition to offering help and support to all members, Barclays Eagle Labs have its own floor dedicated to helping high-growth businesses within the city looking to grow and scale their business. All members will benefit from Eagle Labs’ initiatives and expertise, which includes access to funding, mentoring, and an events agenda designed to educate, connect and inspire entrepreneurs.
The Lab is supported by Barclays’ local business banking teams and specialist ‘high-growth’ managers on site to provide banking support to companies and entrepreneurs in the area. This is the bank’s 23rd Eagle Lab across the UK, and the third in Yorkshire following the recent openings in Hull and Sheffield.
The opening of the new Eagle Lab in Leeds follows the creation in 2018 of a new business unit at Barclays called Barclays UK (BUK) Ventures. BUK Ventures has an independent mandate to deliver new customer experiences at pace and scale – ultimately driving growth for communities, businesses and Barclays – and is responsible for growing the Eagle Lab network.
Helen Clarke, Barclays area manager in Leeds and North Yorkshire, said: “We’re really pleased to be partnering with Avenue HQ and this launch will further our investment in Yorkshire’s entrepreneurs. The city’s businesses are hungry for flexible workspace and we want to help local start-ups to win the ‘champions league’ of growth and job creation.
“We now have three Eagle Labs in the Yorkshire region and as a partner, Avenue HQ are as passionate as we are about supporting businesses. Barclays’ experts are able to provide the mentoring, connections and collaborations required for Yorkshire’s businesses to flourish.”
Avenue HQ looks forward to the benefits this partnership will bring to existing members of their Leeds site, having seen success at its Liverpool site. With further expansion planned for Avenue HQ, a second Liverpool site recently opened, and having won ‘Co-working Space of the Year’ at the 2018 IPSE Awards, the flexible workspace operator is going from strength-to-strength. This partnership with Barclays signifies great opportunities for the company, and its community of members.
Matthew Kennedy, founder and CEO of Avenue HQ, said: “Avenue HQ has proven to deliver high-quality collaborative spaces, enabling start-ups to work alongside, and be supported by, established businesses. We are therefore delighted to secure this partnership with Barclays for our Leeds site. Combining our flexible membership packages, workspace and events spaces with expert support, and an extensive events calendar, we will create a central hub for businesses of all sectors and sizes within Leeds and the surrounding areas. Access to a national network of Barclays Eagle Labs provides a wealth of opportunities for businesses to expand beyond the city, as well as for us to welcome businesses from other locations.
“We recognise Leeds as a city with a thriving start-up scene, across all industries and sectors. Our aim, supported by Barclays, is to bring together ambitious entrepreneurs and inspiring businesses from across the city to help continue this growth, fuelling collaboration and creating more opportunities.”