City Council secures investment to supercharge local tech sector

Milton Keynes skyline

Milton Keynes City Council has secured an investment from the Barclays Eagle Labs Ecosystem Partnership Programme, funded by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, which it is match funding, to support the Milton Keynes tech ecosystem, and assist the City Council in delivering its Technology, Smart City, Digital and Creative Industries Strategy.

The Milton Keynes tech ecosystem initiative will play a key part in the city council’s ambitions to grow Milton Keynes’ global reputation as a smart city and home of innovation.

The Ecosystem Partnership Programme delivered by Barclays Eagle Labs and funded by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, provides funding to UK start-ups to help them succeed and scale up their business. Milton Keynes City Council successfully applied for funding from the Programme and is match funding the investment received.  

In addition to securing the Barclays funding, the City Council is pleased to announce the successful partner it will be working with in 24/25 on its tech ecosystem project. Protospace will receive funding to nurture and accelerate the growth of tech and digital businesses in the city. Protospace is an MK-based not for profit initiative which is making major strides to connect and support the tech sector. It will use the funding to create a diverse calendar of events that will serve as a centre for knowledge sharing and networking for the local tech sector. Expect expert-led forums, roundtable discussions and entrepreneurial meetings to support Milton Keynes in leading in tech and innovation on the world stage. 

Protospace will work with the city council over the next year to boost the local tech ecosystem, focusing on:

  • Strengthening MK’s tech networks: encouraging collaboration among tech professionals 
  • Identifying challenges and opportunities: creating a forum to discuss sector-specific challenges and opportunities 
  • Professional development: ongoing learning and development to enhance skills in the sector
  • Increasing accessibility: making the tech sector more approachable and open to encourage diverse participation

Barclays will also be an integral partner in a number of the events and in strategic work. Tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, investors and other members of the MK tech sector can find out about the events at

Milton Keynes is a highly successful place to do business and has been at the forefront of growth in tech in recent years. The city has an enviable reputation as a smart city where researchers can trial initiatives to help modern cities become greener and more pleasant places to live and work. Current live trials in the city involve self-driving shuttles, urban drone deliveries, and advanced radio communications. Already, one in three jobs in the city is in technology, and the city council and its partners have ambitious plans to grow and connect the tech ecosystem in the city.

“We’re really ambitious about our tech and innovation prospects in Milton Keynes, and programmes like this will further establish our city as a world leader in the sector. Our city is brimming with enthusiastic entrepreneurs especially in tech. We’re determined to grow and connect the sector with further investment to give start-ups the opportunities to flourish. It’s fantastic to have Eagle Labs onboard who will provide us and Protospace with unrivalled resources and expertise to supercharge our tech and innovation sectors.”
- Cabinet Member for Economy, Sustainability and Innovation, Cllr Shanika Mahendran
“We are excited to announce this funding for the Milton Keynes City Council. Using our Ecosystem Partnership Programme, we are allocating funding to organisations that are already plugged into their national and regional ecosystems. Our support Milton Keynes City Council 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.”
- Amanda Allan, Director of Barclays Eagle Labs
“We are thrilled to partner with Milton Keynes City Council and Barclays Eagle Labs to drive forward the growth of the tech sector in Milton Keynes. This investment will enable us to create impactful events and initiatives that foster collaboration, innovation, and professional development within our vibrant tech community. Milton Keynes, known as a smart city and a test bed for cutting-edge innovation, is uniquely positioned to lead in technology advancements. With its supportive start-up and scale-up ecosystem, we are committed to making it a leading hub for technology and innovation, both locally and globally.”
- Oliver Waters, Director of Protospace