Barclays officially opens hi-tech Glasgow campus - deemed a major boost for Scots economy

Barclays has officially opened the doors to its new state-of-the-art campus in Glasgow – and it has been hailed as a significant milestone, expected to catalyse the Scottish economy.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has formally opened the 500,000-square-foot site in Tradeston, stressing that it is one of Scotland’s biggest-ever inward investments, and that it reinforces the nation’s status as a global finance and technology hub.

There are set to be 5,000 employees by 2023 on the campus, which will be home to the latest Barclays Eagle Lab hosting members of the Glasgow technology start-up community.

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Barclays had in 2018 announced that it would be creating a campus at the city’s Buchanan Wharf – saying it was a “flagship project” for the bank.

Barclays says its investment increases 'the strategic importance of the city to our future'. Picture: Michael McGurk.

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The campus comprises five buildings, whose names allude to the crofting and industrial heritage of the area, and the site, formerly a brownfield area, is now a city-centre park, including a curated space known as The Street for social enterprises and local entrepreneurs to showcase and sell their products to the public.

Ms Sturgeon said the opening “represents a landmark moment for our country’s thriving financial services industry” – and is a “real statement of confidence in the talent and skills of our people”.

She added: “It will contribute to the sustainable regeneration of a historic section of the Clyde Waterfront, and offer employment opportunities for local people and those who have faced barriers into work, including people with disabilities and school-leavers.”

The lender also said the workspace boasts, say complex lighting systems, creative spaces and technology to support hybrid working, with the campus designed to be inclusive, including a specific focus on neurodiversity.

Barclays added that it has grown its Glaswegian workforce by more than 90 per cent in the last four years, and it is developing a strong pipeline of graduate and apprenticeship opportunities.

Chief executive Jes Staley said: “We wanted to create something transformative that would have a lasting impact on Glasgow, its people and the local economy. I am proud of the opportunities we have created – not just through jobs, but also through our supply chain and community initiatives. The UK is a world-leader in financial services and Glasgow plays an important part. With this investment we are increasing the strategic importance of the city to our future.”

Ingenuity

UK Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord said: “I'm delighted that my first visit as a Scotland Office Minister was to see the opening of Barclays’ fantastic new campus... I know what an attractive option Scotland represents for global investment – and this new flagship hub underlines that.

"Not only is there great ingenuity in its design, it also represents an exciting move forward for job-creation and economic growth.”

Scottish Enterprise chief executive Adrian Gillespie, who attended the opening, hailed the “major milestone” that brings to fruition many years of partnership working to deliver “such a significant and transformative” project for Glasgow and Scotland.

He noted Scottish Enterprise’s role in helping make the development a reality, adding: “As we continue to support sustainable economic recovery, the opening of Barclays Glasgow Campus provides a real boost for Scotland’s economy. It also underlines the message we are sharing with the world: that Scotland is very much open for business.”

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