Barclays launches greentech lab in Cardiff

Banking giant Barclays has opened its first greentech lab in Cardiff to support companies and entrepreneurs developing sustainable technologies.

The facility is based at Brunel House in the centre of Cardiff. Firms are provided with around-the-clock access to shared office space, a mentorship scheme and networking opportunities.

Earlier this year, Barclays brought its Eagle Labs programme to Wales after achieving success in cities such as Salford, London and Edinburgh. It sports 120 seats and an R&D centre.

Called the Maker Space, the centre supports firms with rapid prototyping and product development. Residents can make use of 3D printers and laser cutting equipment to bring their designs to life.

Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas, chair of Barclays Green Banking Council, said the opening of the new lab will accelerate the Welsh greentech sector.

She said: “Barclays, like so many of our clients, recognises that addressing environmental challenges is not only a necessity but a compelling economic opportunity.

“We have already successfully launched a suite of pioneering green financial products and so we are delighted to be able to build on our expertise by launching new, innovative Green labs to support this vibrant growth sector.

“We’re excited to be at the forefront of something that has the potential to be transformative and as a proud Cardiffian, I could not think of a better place to launch our very first Green lab.”

To coincide with the launch of the lab, Barclays has created a range of tailored support packages to support greentech firms, including loans of up to £3 million.

Barclays said there is an “increasing appetite for more financial support for green initiatives as businesses recognise the commercial benefits, through reduced costs and increased revenue potential”.

Mari Thomas added: “Clients are increasingly viewing sustainability as a key consideration in their overall business strategy and are recognising that whilst the threats of climate change and resource scarcity are real, they are also leading to innovative solutions and business growth opportunities.

“We certainly share that view at Barclays and want to support all our clients, from the start-ups in our new Green lab through to multinational corporates, promoting growth and contributing towards a better, greener, future for all.”