BCP Council is looking to buy Barclays House in Poole, the Daily Echo can exclusively reveal.

The council has confirmed it has been given an exclusivity period by Barclays to explore a potential purchase of the estate. 

If the acquisition were to follow through, the council would own the former Barclays Building, the 1,100-space car park and other potential sites surrounding it.  

Councillor Drew Mellor, leader of BCP Council, said: "Barclays have confirmed in the last week that they are prepared to give the council an exclusivity period to explore a potential acquisition of the Barclays Poole Estate. 

“We are absolutely committed to the rejuvenation of Poole, with a number of exciting opportunities in Poole coming through the council soon, and this presents a further interesting dynamic in that rejuvenation.  

Read more: Barclays set to move staff out of Barclays House in Poole

“There is a tremendous amount of due diligence to follow as we explore this opportunity, however it could clearly represent an exciting opportunity to have control of a key strategic Poole town centre site to support regeneration, with a number of potential uses for the current building and beyond for the council and other stakeholders.

“It would not be the council's intention to demolish the building, but rather to explore uses for the current building, which is very sizable and has seen a good proportion of it extensively refurbished. 

“Over the next few months, we will be conducting further studies, surveys and consultation before asking the council to take a formal decision on the next steps.” 

Bournemouth Echo: BCP Council's town hall in BournemouthBCP Council's town hall in Bournemouth

In January, Barclays announced that after 46 years it was to sell its Poole building and relocate most of the bank’s 700 staff to a building in the Lansdowne area in Bournemouth.   

Read more: Developer exploring demolition of Barclays House in Poole

The site had keen interest from Richard Carr, chief executive of Poole-based Fortitudo.

Mr Carr successfully applied for approval to demolish the historic Poole building and wanted to build three "substantial" towers with "iconic" apartments.

In response to the news, Mr Carr said: “We are disappointed to learn that. I believe we are the underbidder and this is just the process of business. 

“If the council have put their best foot forward and if they will pay more for it than what we bid for then we will move on to the next deal."

Bournemouth Echo: Fortitudo chief executive Richard CarrFortitudo chief executive Richard Carr

He added: “If the council were to consolidate Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council staff into one building along with all the satellite offices they’ve got, then that can only be seen as a positive.  

“I can see the positives and the angle the council have taken and I’ve got to give them credit for that. 

“We are obviously very disappointed because I believed we could have done something very special with that but we’ll move onto the next thing.”

Barclays has declined to comment.