Barclays Eagle Labs awarded Digital Growth Grant to aid regional innovation

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has awarded its £12.09m Digital Growth Grant to Barclays Eagle Labs, to help boost growth of UK tech start-ups and scale-ups

Building on the £42.2m invested by the UK government to support tech start-ups and scale-ups since 2016, the Digital Growth Grant scheme aims to increase support for the tech sector for the benefit of over 22,000 businesses, with at least 80 per cent based outside of London.

The grant was awarded following an open competition and rigorous assessment process, with the DCMS department deciding that Barclays Eagle Labs represented the best value for taxpayer money, with the full grant set to be allocated to supporting the UK tech ecosystem.

The Digital Growth Grant will be awarded to Barclays Eagle Labs from April 2023, and is planned to fund activity until March 2025, while Tech Nation — the UK network currently tasked with boosting tech sector growth — will continue to deliver remaining DCMS grant funding until March 2023.

The funding will double the annual number of mentoring sessions offered to tech firms to 1,500.

“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,” said Amanda Allan, director of Barclays Eagle Labs.

“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.”

Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy, Paul Scully, commented: “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.”

How will the funding be invested?

With partnership collaboration between organisations proving key to innovation in the tech industry, Barclays Eagle Labs and industry partners will provide specialist support with a focus on founders from underrepresented communities — for example, expanding access to growth programmes for black and female-founded businesses.

Governmental funding will also go towards training resources and opportunities for entrepreneurs, including a Learning Management System providing virtual training to over 10,000 businesses, and training modules catered for budding entrepreneurs. 

Barclays Eagle Labs has specialised in delivering growth programmes, business mentoring and events to start-ups and scale-ups since its establishment in 2015.

The accelerator operates through 38 physical regional sites, as well as virtually across the country, and is looking to create effective local networks to help tech businesses wherever they are in the UK.


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