Barclays has opened a new collaborative space in Manchester to encourage entrepreneurs and startups in the city.

The Manchester Escalator at 231 Deansgate is being run by the bank alongside business members club, Central Working. It will provide access to meeting rooms, free wifi, co-working seats and space to host events.

Barclays Manchester Escalator opening
Barclays Manchester Escalator opening

The Escalator is an extension of a similar collaboration space the bank has set up in London to support small tech firms, and aims to tap into talent in the north of the country.

“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,” said Barclays chief executive, Antony Jenkins.

“Manchester is already a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, driving significant investment, productivity and growth, and it’s exciting that we can be part of this. We want to back the businesses of tomorrow and help aspiring entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level.”

Membership is open to startups from a range of industries such as finance, technology, social enterprise, education, healthcare and gaming.

Barclays, like many financial firms, has invested in the startup scene. It launched an accelerator programme earlier this year, inviting 11 firms to join its mentoring programme.

Others such as Santander have also partnered with startup firms, with the Spanish lender also announcing a £58 million fintech venture fund.