The first Barclays Eagle Lab Farm offering co-working spaces for start-ups and scale-ups has been launched at Riseholme near Lincoln.

The first Barclays Eagle Lab Farm has been launched in partnership with the University of Lincoln’s Institute for Agri-food Technology and Agri-robotics Research Centre at Riseholme.

It will be the 26th lab in Barclays’ Eagle Lab network of co-working spaces for start-ups and scale-ups around the country, the largest network of its kind in the United Kingdom.

The new lab will support entrepreneurs with the latest technology and includes a co-working and business space dedicated to furthering innovation in agricultural technology.

It will offer entrepreneurs and researchers access to Lincoln’s cutting-edge agri-tech resources to support farmers as they tackle ongoing challenges and help rural farming communities become leaders in applying technology to agriculture.

Barclays’ partnership with the University of Lincoln will support the UK farming sector to innovate, grow and thrive and become the most digitally enabled farming industry in the world.

The resources on offer at the Eagle Lab Farm include a dedicated robotics lab, a demonstration packhouse and a model refrigerated supermarket aisle available for the entrepreneurs and researchers.

The Riseholme research campus also features traditional test and growing areas, including soft fruit and crop growing facilities, beef cattle and sheep herds, a walled garden and commercial polytunnel growth spaces.

"Our vision is to help UK agriculture to become the most digitally-savvy farming sector in the world," said a spokesperson for Barclays.

"The Eagle Lab Farm is one of the many ways we’re helping the food supply chain reach this goal. We hope this space will provide start-ups with the opportunity to develop new and exciting technologies, accelerating their business and leading the UK in a new era of farming."

Professor Andrew Hunter, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at The University of Lincoln, said: “We’re incredibly excited to be partnering with Barclays on the Eagle Lab Farm and to offer the next generation of agri-tech developers the chance to use our facilities. 

"The farming industry is currently facing a number of challenges, so we hope that this residency will provide some solutions to the issues and aid in the recovery of our sector.”

The Farming Minister Victoria Prentis said: “I welcome this partnership between Barclays and the University of Lincoln. Agri-tech can help us address the biggest challenges facing the farming industry and will play a vital role as we take back control of our agricultural policy as we leave the EU."