Last night we were invited to the launch of Barclays Eagle Lab in Bournemouth to discover how digital fabrication can support our local community.

If you haven’t heard of Eagle Labs, here’s a bit of information for you – the labs are currently launching across the UK to support local communities and help businesses grow. There are currently Eagle Labs in Bournemouth, Cambridge and Brighton – four in total.

In order for UK businesses to grow, companies will need to embrace new technologies and techniques, as well as helping colleagues and customers embrace new and emerging technology. A space to create and innovate, Barclays Eagle Labs are a community resource for everybody – you don’t need to be a Barclays customer to use them.

Designed off the back of the ‘Code Playground’ sessions which were particularly successful (they expected to have 500 over the course of the year, but had over 4,000) the Eagle Labs will allow people to come and prototype ideas for minimal cost.

The facilities on offer range from laser cutters, 3D printing, AV Equipment, meeting rooms, presentation areas and high-speed WiFi. It was really interesting to see the 3D printers in action – I loved the 3D eagle printed on attendees’ lanyards! The lab was opened by AFC Bournemouth Manager Eddie Howe, who pressed the button on the laser cutter which produced the plaque and we enjoyed testing a rollercoaster with the Oculus Rift.

Bournemouth’s Eagle Lab opens to the public in January – suitable for adults and children. There will be Code Playground sessions for young people to learn how to code and workshops to help teachers learn about digital in support of their curriculum.

The Eagle Lab is located at County Gates House, 300 Poole Road, Bournemouth, BH12 1AZ.

Main photo: LLPR’s Charis Gibson with an Oculus Rift