BARCLAYS is to leave its landmark Poole building after 46 years in the town.

Most of the bank's 700 Poole staff are to be moved to a building in Bournemouth's Lansdowne area.

The bank said other staff would be relocated elsewhere and that it was supporting staff affected by the announcement.

Staff were told in a Zoom call that they would be leaving Barclays House, which has been home to generations of staff.

It is not yet known what will be done with the building, which is home to a fraction of the workforce who were once there.

A Barclays statement said: “In order to drive greater collaboration between teams, Barclays has announced it plans to exit Barclays House, Wimborne Road, Poole, by the end of the year.

“The announcement will see the majority of colleagues being relocated to new office premises at The Helm, Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth continuing the bank’s longstanding commitment as a major employer in the region.

“Other roles will be relocated bringing teams closer together helping to drive future collaboration at our UK sites including Glasgow, Greater Manchester and Northampton; where we have invested in new campuses and office space. These changes enable us to innovate at pace for the customers and clients we serve.


Barclays House in 1976

Barclays House in 1976

“We will do everything we can to support colleagues impacted by the changes announced, including supporting redeployment where possible and working closely with Unite.

“As yet, no decision has been made with regard to the future or disposal of Barclays House.”

The Poole operation has around 708 permanent staff, most of whom have been working remotely, and around 429 will move to Bournemouth.

The bank says another 174 will relocate to other key sites, with a net loss of around 50 jobs. It has identified around 40 jobs in the locality for staff at risk of redundancy.

The huge Barclays House office block and multi-storey car park opened in 1976, after a public inquiry and several years of construction.

It employed around 2,500 people at its peak, most of them recruited locally to join the several hundred who moved from London.

The 21st century brought several rounds of job losses at the Poole site. Plans to move the remaining employees to a purpose-built site in West Quay Road by 2010 were scrapped, with the bank citing rising construction costs.

In 2016, the bank said it would be spending millions on a refurbishment to create a “fit for purpose” working environment.


Black and white photo: Barclays House under construction in 1973. Colour photo: The same view in 2014..

Barclays House


Poole MP Sir Robert Syms said: "It’s a sad day. They have been one of the town's biggest employers for decades .

"I am reassured that most of those affected will secure future employment with the bank. I hope to see plans soon about what will happen with this key site in the town that may open up future alternative employment."

Poole Town councillor Mark Howell said: “The building has been significantly under-occupied for a long time and it’s a good thing if Barclays are acting to move it forward so that it can be reoccupied by other companies and provide additional footfall into the town centre.

“It’s more a positive thing than a negative thing because it’s been stuck in situation where it’s been underused but they have for some reason been paying to keep it with a skeleton undertaking rather than sort out the wider issue.”

The Barclays move will leave an enormous empty building in a prime site, raising the question of whether its future could involve jobs or residential use.

Cllr Howell said: “It’s clear it’s in an area of the town centre that we are looking to regenerate, albeit largely on the wrong side of the transport system.

“I can’t see it being knocked down unless there’s absolutely no alternative use for such a huge building.”