Northern Reach has been awarded a significant funding boost through the Barclays Eagle Labs Ecosystem Partnership Programme.

The Lancaster-based tech business consultancy, which manages the Lancashire Digital Hub initiative, and Lancashire County Council have match-funded the investment.

The Lancashire Digital Hub is an initiative funded by Lancashire County Council. The funding boost will expand and enhance many of its current activities.

These will include increasing the frequency of the Hub’s regular Tech Talks evenings, Digital Leaders meet ups, and Techy Tuesday drop-in sessions, all of which have helped bring Lancashire’s different technology communities together.

In addition, the funding will enable the development and delivery of several new workstreams including a startup weekend featuring content curated specifically to support fledgling tech ventures and novice entrepreneurs.

Lancashire Digital Hub’s bolstered business support activities will further be calibrated to complement other early stage provision being delivered in Lancashire by programmes such as FHundED and Boost’s Access to Finance service.

The investment will run from April 2024 until May 2025.

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“Since 2022, the Lancashire Digital Hub’s objective has been to facilitate and strengthen relationships between disparate technology clusters, bring early stage businesses and scale-ups together with potential investors, and connect key tech influencers with Lancashire’s wider business community,” said Dan Knowles, founder and MD of Northern Reach.

“Two years on and our programme of meetups and peer-to-peer networking sessions, together with annual gatherings like the Lancashire Digital Summit, has helped establish a thriving digital industries community which might otherwise have remained siloed.

“Now, with Barclays Eagle Labs backing – which has been match funded by Lancashire County Council and Northern Reach – we can not only expand and increase the coverage and frequency of the Hub’s existing activities, we can also develop new initiatives such as the first ever Lancashire startup weekend.”    

Amanda Allan, director of Barclays Eagle Labs, said: “We are excited to be facilitating this funding to help boost Lancashire Digital Hub’s offering and we are very much looking forward to seeing this support reach tech businesses in Lancashire.

“Using our Ecosystem Partnership Programme, we are allocating funding to organisations like Northern Reach that are already plugged into their regional ecosystems. We are proud to be able to support these projects, which are designed to help early-stage tech entrepreneurs. Our support for Northern Reach and similar organisations highlights our ongoing commitment to support the tech sector, which is vital to the continued growth of local economies across the whole of the UK.”

Over £1m of Barclays Eagle’s Digital Growth Grant has been ring-fenced to support the 2024 Barclays Eagle Labs Ecosystem Partnership Programme.

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