Barclays to convert under-used properties into free co-working space for start-ups and social enterprises

Hatch will offer entrepreneurs a mix of work and event facilities with access to innovative tech equipment such as 3D printers

Social enterprises, non-for-profit charities and early-stage start-ups will have access to free co-working space following a move by Barclays to convert its “under-utilised” properties.

Launched in partnership with charity 3Space, new co-working site Hatch will look to support both businesses and the local community – “providing for creative, social and community needs”.

The first Hatch site, a former bank vault, has opened in Oxford this month and combines desk space with workshops and rooms for meetings and events.

Alongside space, users will be given access to a range of tech equipment such as 3D printers and workshop and maker tools alongside sewing machines and audio visual technology.

Further support is set to be provided by Barclays staff which will involve advice on social media training and access to Barclays personnel and Barclays ‘Digital Eagles’; specially trained members of staff that provide free technology advice.

Not restricted to Barclays customers, the news is said to reflect a “real opportunity for sustainable economic growth across the UK” with three additional Hatch sites planned for 2015.

Barclays chief design and digital officer, Derek White, said of the initiative: “One of the challenges facing fledgling enterprises today is finding affordable space in which they can experiment with ideas and foster creativity.

“Working with 3Space allows us to tackle this, providing a base for local entrepreneurs and social enterprises and giving them access to the support and resources they need, beyond traditional banking products and services.”

To find out more about Hatch and how you can access the facilities, click here.

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