Barclays is a familiar feature of the business landscape in Basingstoke. It first established its Asset & Sales Finance team in the town in 1989. More recently it decided to merge two other offices into the Basingstoke one, increasing staff numbers from 600 to 1,000.
Basingstoke's location, which is second to none according to Stuart Kirtland, Head of Business Services at Barclays, was a major factor in the bank’s decision to relocate its Birmingham and Hastings offices to the town.
Not only is Basingstoke close to London, but excellent communication links mean that the rest of the UK is easily accessible. As Barclays has expanded over the years, so have its interests abroad. Staff from Basingstoke travel regularly to other office locations, throughout Europe and also in India, to provide support and expertise. Here again, Basingstoke holds its own, thanks to its proximity to London's airports. These factors are not only vital to the town's current success, but will ensure its future success, enabling it to remain competitive and desirable as a business location. Any business is as good as the people it employs, and Barclays has been able to access a talented workforce pool locally and regionally, with a catchment area that takes in urban centres such as Winchester and Reading.
What helps in recruiting the right people is the quality of living on offer in Basingstoke, which combines all the facilities of a thriving town with the charms of a rural region. Plentiful, good quality housing, recently expanded entertainment facilities and excellent education and healthcare systems ensure that an attractive lifestyle is on offer.
Barclays is also extremely active within the Basingstoke community - a charity committee oversees a schedule of staff events such as helping repaint schools and create gardens. Barclays sponsors the council's Place to be Proud of Arts and Culture Award, features in its Green Guide for Business and is part of the Learning Campus scheme which aims to forge links between local colleges and universities, turning Basingstoke into an innovative provider of higher education.