Barclays Eagle Labs has been awarded a new grant to boost small and scaling tech businesses in all corners of the UK.
Estimates suggest strengthening regional tech industries could grow the UK’s digital sector by an additional £41.5 billion by 2025 and create 678,000 jobs.
The £12.09 million Digital Growth Grant builds on more than £42.2 million invested by the government to support tech start-ups and scale-ups since 2016.
Combined investment from Eagle Labs and the government will increase support for the tech sector so more than 22,000 businesses can benefit from the grant, with at least 80 per cent based outside London.
Barclays Eagle Labs has expertly delivered growth programmes, business mentoring and events to start-ups and scale-ups since 2015. Their growing network already supports businesses from Aberdeen and Belfast to Cardiff and Cumbria through 38 physical sites, as well as virtually across the country.
Together with best-in-class business support experts, Eagle Labs will create effective local networks to help tech businesses wherever they are in the country.
Eagle Labs and industry partners will provide specialist support, funded by the Digital Growth Grant, for founders from underserved communities – for example expanding access to their growth programmes for Black and female founded businesses.
The grant will fund training resources and opportunities for entrepreneurs, including a Learning Management System providing virtual training to over 10,000 businesses and training modules created for young people to inspire the next generation of UK entrepreneurs.
Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy, Paul Scully, said:
“We want to unlock the potential of the next generation of start-ups and scale-ups and boost tech businesses in all corners of the country.
“Barclays Eagle Labs are digital industry experts and will help tens of thousands of tech firms and founders to achieve their dreams and create jobs and economic growth.”
The Digital Growth Grant was awarded following an open competition and rigorous assessment process. The Barclays Eagle Labs bid represented the best value for taxpayers’ money as the full grant will be allocated to supporting the UK tech ecosystem, with Eagle Labs absorbing all operational and people costs associated with delivering the programme of activity.
It will enable Eagle Labs to launch new programmes to grow tech businesses as well as increasing access to Eagle Labs’ existing services. The funding will double the number of mentoring sessions offered to tech firms to 1,500 a year.
The independent panel assessing applications concluded Eagle Labs was uniquely positioned to deliver targeted support across the country. A bespoke regional partnership programme will ensure funding and training reflects the challenges digital businesses are facing in their area.
Amanda Allan, Director of Barclays Eagle Labs, said:
“Eagle Labs’ vision is to make the UK tech sector an engine for growth and for the UK to be the best place in the world to start and grow a tech business
“Through the Digital Growth grant, we’re excited to double down to reach more businesses across the country with our best-in-class business growth programmes and bespoke regional support.
“We have a track-record of supporting over 8000 start-ups and high-growth businesses since we launched in 2015 and we’re proud that, due to our established Eagle Labs network, we can pass through all grant funds to our delivery partners and programmes, helping to maximise the impact of the grant in supporting the UK tech ecosystem.”
Tech Nation will continue to deliver remaining DCMS grant funding until March 2023. The Digital Growth Grant will be awarded to Barclays Eagle Labs from April 2023 and will fund activity until March 2025.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) consulted the tech industry earlier this year to ensure the new funding meets the needs of start-ups and scale-ups across the sector now and in the future. The grant’s objectives were designed to reflect the changing landscape of business support and industry calls for more targeted interventions tackling current barriers to growth.
Eagle Labs is operationally independent from Barclays’ banking services and safeguards are in place to ensure the Digital Growth Grant funding is only claimed for the intended purposes. Robust monitoring processes will be in place for the duration of the award in line with government grant guidance and best practice.
It is not a requirement to bank with Barclays to access programmes or receive support funded through the Digital Growth Grant or through Barclays Eagle Labs. Additionally, Eagle Labs does not require any equity in businesses receiving support.