Barclays selects Kilmarnock's Halo for site of third Scots Eagle Lab

Banking giant Barclays is opening a third Eagle Lab in Scotland as it looks to support start-up and scale-up businesses across Ayrshire.

The new facility is due to open for business in January and will be based in the Halo Enterprise and Innovation Centre in Kilmarnock. The Halo venture is behind the £63 million regeneration of the former Johnnie Walker bottling plant site in the town.

Barclays’ Eagle Labs form one of the largest co-working and business incubator networks in the UK, with sites across 24 locations, including Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

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The bank said the Kilmarnock lab would help entrepreneurs and “ambitious” start-up businesses collaborate, innovate and grow.

The existing Barclays Eagle Lab in Edinburgh. Picture: Professional Images (UK) Ltd

Stuart Brown, head of branch and business banking Scotland, said: “It’s imperative that we support business growth across the country. We’ve seen the impact of the pandemic on businesses and so now, more than ever, we need to support enterprises that will grow and thrive.

“Halo shares our vision for boosting economic prosperity and diversification through innovation and entrepreneurship. By working in collaboration, we can maximise the support we are able to offer businesses in the area.”

Marie Macklin, founder and executive chair of Halo, said: “The Halo concept has always been about young people and about meeting the needs of the people of Ayrshire and beyond.

“I’m proud that we’ve been able to attract a Barclays Eagle Lab as it’s the idea generators and the change-makers who will benefit most from its presence within the Halo.”

Working with the Halo, Barclays will also boost employability initiatives for individuals in Ayrshire through its LifeSkills programme.

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