Local authority partners with Barclays in new model to foster regional innovation


Barclays has been appointed by Southampton City Council to manage Network Eagle Lab, Southampton’s new unique co-working space at the Marlands Shopping Centre.

With cutting edge facilities, including a photographic studio and maker space, Network Eagle Lab will support creative, digital and knowledge-based start-ups and scale-ups by delivering the city’s first collaborative, co-working environment.

The re-purposed 12,500 sq ft retail storage space on the second floor of the Marlands Shopping Centre has already attracted a huge level of interest from potential residents. The location will provide them with a city-centre environment, flexible memberships, and amenities such as a bike store and shower facilities.

The space will be run by the Barclays Eagle Labs team, a group with a track record of helping entrepreneurs and businesses grow and scale in their local communities and beyond. Network Eagle Lab marks the first collaboration between Barclays Eagle Labs and a local authority, and becomes the 23rd location in the nationwide system – continuing the expansion of one of the UK’s largest co-working, collaboration and innovation networks.

Beyond providing a home, Eagle Labs offer ‘residents’ the opportunity to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs, local organisations, universities, industry bodies and potential clients and investors. These resources will provide more opportunities for Southampton start-ups and scale-ups to grow, in turn strengthening the city’s established position in the digital sector.

The appointment of the Barclays Eagle Labs team to run Network Eagle Lab 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.

Caroline Burley, Head of SME for the South Coast, Sussex and Surrey at Barclays, said: “We’re proud to have entered into our first partnership with a local authority in Southampton, a city known for its digital innovation. We’ll bring our Eagle Labs philosophy to the Network Eagle Lab, helping to provide start-ups and scale-ups a home and fostering the connections to help them grow.

“In addition, the space aligns with our belief that city-centre locations can and should be used creatively to become new hubs for the communities they serve. We’re excited to be part of the growth story here, and to partner with Southampton City Council to provide continued support to what is an already-thriving sector in the city.”

Leader of Southampton City Council, Councillor Christopher Hammond commented: “There’s a network of Eagle Labs throughout the UK offering bespoke, collaborative environments for entrepreneurs in the digital and knowledge-based industries. As the managers of Network Eagle Lab, the Barclays team will bring their experience of working with start-ups and scale-ups to provide expert advice and vital connections to those using this incredible venue.

“Co-working environments are well established in cities such as London and Manchester and it was imperative that we provided a fit-for-purpose flexible space in order for this growth industry sector to continue to thrive in Southampton. Network Eagle Lab will deliver exactly that.”

Doors will open this summer and businesses interested in joining Network Eagle Lab can find out more by visiting https://labs.uk.barclays/