Barclays opens Manchester Escalator business-support centre for startups

Barclays has opened a business-support centre in Manchester for startups and entrepreneurs

Barclays bank has opened a support centre in Manchester for startups and entrepreneurs.

The Manchester Escalator will be available for small businesses to meet clients and access workshops and training sessions. It will provide facilities such as meeting rooms, free Wi-Fi and conferencing equipment.

“I am delighted to be opening the Manchester Escalator. It’s about offering the support, infrastructure and tools that entrepreneurs need to help grow and develop and builds on the work that Barclays has already been doing in this space,” said Barclays chief executive, Antony Jenkins.

“We’ve seen great successes come out of the London Escalator already and it’s great that we are able to extend this support further across the UK.”

The Manchester Escalator – opened in partnership with business accelerator firm Central Working – will offer membership to startups and entrepreneurs in creative industries such as finance, technology, social enterprise, education, healthcare and gaming.

Earlier this year Barclays launched a startup accelerator programme in London to find innovative financial services technology.

Finance technology accelerators

The first round of its London accelerator concluded with a demonstration day, when the 11 startups involved in the first wave pitched their ideas to angel investors, prospective corporate partners and senior executives.

The changing IT strategies of banking institutions is encouraging the London startup scene, especially in the finance technology sector. Many organisations, such as John Lewis and Cisco, have invested in accelerators and incubators for growing firms.

Chancellor George Osborne launched a programme in August 2014 designed to put the UK at the forefront of financial technology innovation.

Osborne emphasised the future of finance technology is uncertain due to the amount of innovations produced, which is why government backing is important in ensure growth in the right areas.

Read more on IT project management