Barclays opens entrepreneur hub in Tech City

Barclays is opening a centre dedicated to entrepreneurs next to the Google Campus in East London’s Tech City, chancellor George Osborne has announced.

In a speech to the ICT Olympics trade event at Lancaster House, Osborne said that Barclays was one of three companies, alongside Vodafone and Japanese gaming company GREE, announcing new investment in the area.

The announcement follows a report from Sky News earlier this week, which hinted that Barclays would be investing a six-figure sum into Tech City.

Highlighting government initiatives such as the Entrepreneur Visa and R&D tax relief, Osborne said: “You really will not find a government anywhere that is more supportive of new technologies, or doing more to back technology entrepreneurs and investors.”

Barclays’ Shoreditch-based Central Working hub is a 4,000 square foot space that aims to be a collaborative space for local entrepreneurs.

The bank estimates that more than 10,000 businesses will use the space over the next decade.

Meanwhile, GREE will establish a new game development studio in Tech City, as it hopes to draw on the skills of the area’s video gaming community.

Vodafonewill also open up a start-up incubator in East London, although the company has not specified exactly where it will be located nor how many businesses it hopes to support.

Amazon and Facebook also recently announced developments in the capital, helping promote the idea that London can attract the world’s biggest digital companies.

A recent report by think tank Centre for London estimated that there are at least 3,200 digital firms in the existing Tech City cluster. Of those, 1,500 are in the 'core wards' of Clerkenwell, Hoxton and Haggerston.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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