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Creative England and Barclays join forces to boost growth in UK creative tech sector

Creative England based in The Greenhouse, MediaCityUK, and Barclays have announced a new partnership that will focus on boosting fast-growing, creative technology businesses.


Together, they are launching a new accelerator, providing creative technology entrepreneurs with the support and help they need early on in their business lifecycle. ‘Barclays’ Eagle Lab – Flight’ will be implemented through Barclays’ successful Eagle Labs programme and led by Creative England. The accelerator will run in the Brighton Eagle Lab in early 2017.


Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture said: This government is committed to backing the success of the UK’s creative industries as design and digital capability will be at the heart of the future economy. This great initiative from Creative England and Barclays will help deliver vital knowledge and skills to businesses in this sector and ultimately boost the number of UK scale-ups. I’d urge any creative business wanting to expand and grow to apply for this scheme.”


APPLY NOW: Barclays’ Eagle Lab- Flight programme, powered by Creative England:

A twelve-week intensive accelerator consisting of workshops, masterclasses and mentor programme, aiming to unlock creativity for aspiring businesses and provide business acumen. It will cover topics such as business planning, sustainability, leadership, culture, global impacts and markets and audiences and evaluation. With a focus on creative thinking and cross collaboration, participating companies will learn how to scale-up and define their product, with input from industry thought leaders, Creative England and Barclays experts.

Creative England will bring the ‘creative spark’ essential to inspire the extraordinary and highly ambitious projects that the programme aims to incubate. Creative England will programme an unrivaled series of ‘Flight’ talks from world class creative leaders, and a series creative workshops and collaborative events devised to disrupt thinking and unlock creativity.

The programme will offer eight investments* to creative tech and digital companies with an interesting product to market, following an application process. Aimed at companies with digital ideas, including apps, gamification, Internet of Things, VR, AR and 3D modeling, and creative technology being applied to other sectors that may not be seen as traditionally digital, like health care or tourism. Applications are now open for the Barclays’ Eagle Lab- Flight programme starting in Brighton in 2017- deadline to apply is 31st December 2016 and is open to customers and non-customers of Barclays.


Caroline Norbury, CEO Creative England, commented: “As recognised in the Autumn Statement, digital is future critical, as is the need to back start-ups to scale up. Our partnership with Barclays and the launch of Barclays’ Eagle Lab – Flight is an important step in our mission to support creative, digital businesses across the country, both driving economic growth and creating high wage, high skill jobs.”


Steven Roberts, MD Strategic Transformation at Barclays said: “We are determined to support UK entrepreneurs and enterprise and help to close the UK’s scale-up gap. We are delighted to be the first bank to partner with Creative England – and working together means we can target the creative sector with a solution to help them to grow, and in turn stimulate UK economic growth. Our joint accelerator will be open to any business nationwide, with a focus on the South East.”


Creative England’s mandate is to help creative and digital businesses both in terms of financial investment and business support to help them to grow and scale, essential as the UK creative industries are worth an incredible £87.4bn and generate almost £10m an hour to the economy. Creative England’s business development programme has so far assisted 350 companies, created 587 jobs, safeguarded 647 and leveraged nearly £30 million in finance. On average these programmes have increased turnover by 46%**.


The accelerator is another milestone in Barclays’ commitment to support fast-growing businesses and help them at every stage of their journey to scale up. Under Barclays’ High Growth & Entrepreneurs, the bank provides end-to-end support helping businesses through every stage of their journey and through a dedicated relationship team, providing access to a range of innovative funding, services and networks for the most ambitious businesses.

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