Barclays launches two new Eagle Labs in London and Birmingham

The two flexible working spaces are designed to boost the UK’s startup ecosystem by creating networking and coworking hubs for rising entrepreneurs.

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Barclays has partnered with x+why, a flexible workspace provider, to launch two new Eagle Labs to bolster the UK’s startup ecosystem.

The Labs are located in Chiswick, London and Birmingham, and join a list of 31 other Barclays Eagle Labs around the country.

The partnership is designed to boost innovation in London and the West Midlands by creating a space for founders to connect and drive growth in the local economy.

Besides providing coworking and meeting spaces, the Eagle Labs will also support entrepreneurs with access to banking services, business expertise, mentoring and coaching from scale-up specialists.

“Each site also has a dedicated Barclays Ecosystem Lab manager to ensure that there are opportunities to provide feedback and discussion on the types of services and support delivered,” details Matt Corbidge, Head of Barclays Eagle Labs.

The Barclays Eagle Labs team will also host a full year-round events programme for members. Businesses can apply now to become residents at the new locations.

Stepping into Tech Nation’s shoes

Barclays Eagle Labs is one of the largest coworking and incubator networks for startups and scaleups in the UK. It has supported over 12,000 businesses through physical locations and virtual support.

Launched in 2015, Barclays Eagle Labs established a network of member businesses, partners, investors, corporates, mentors and banking expertise.

It’s central role in accelerating startups growth was cemented after the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports reallocated the Digital Growth Grant to Barclays Bank.

Previously, the recipient of the Digital Growth Grant worth £12.09m was Tech Nation, which was acquired by Founders Forum Group (FFG) in April after announcing its closure.

Tech Nation held an impressive track record. According to statistics, 80% of startups fail within their first two to five years, yet 95% of the startups in Tech Nation’s accelerator program went on to scale.

FFG has announced that some Tech Nation programs will relaunch this year with commercial funds but notes the competition against Barclays to become a go-to support source for startups will be steep.

Promoting growth

The inauguration of the two new Barclays Eagle Labs follows news that the UK has maintained its position as the third largest tech sector in the world, after China and the US.

The UK tech sector is valued at £820bn, despite facing a 57% decrease in tech investment in the first half of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022.

Thus far, UK tech startups have raised £10.2bn, indicating a slower funding speed than last year’s total of £24bn.

Despite signs of lowered investment, according to a study released by HSBC Innovation Banking and Dealroom, the UK continues to be an international hub for startups and venture capital.

Finding opportunities for mentorship, support, and networking will be important as startups battle against a complicated macro environment.

Written by:
Fernanda is a Mexican-born Startups Writer. Specialising in the Marketing & Finding Customers pillar, she’s always on the lookout for how startups can leverage tools, software, and insights to help solidify their brand, retain clients, and find new areas for growth. Having grown up in Mexico City and Abu Dhabi, Fernanda is passionate about how businesses can adapt to new challenges in different economic environments to grow and find creative ways to engage with new and existing customers. With a background in journalism, politics, and international relations, Fernanda has written for a multitude of online magazines about topics ranging from Latin American politics to how businesses can retain staff during a recession. She is currently strengthening her journalistic muscle by studying for a part-time multimedia journalism degree from the National Council of Training for Journalists (NCTJ).

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