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Explosive climax to Barclays celebrations
ONE of the country’s major banks is celebrating 40 years in Knutsford this month.
Barclays global IT centre is marking the milestone at its base at Radbroke Hall on the A50.
The hall was built after the First World War as a father’s wedding present to his daughter but in the past 40 years it has seen a slightly different use.
The bank acquired the former country house on a 35-acre site in Knutsford in October 1972, with Radbroke becoming the first campus site for Barclays and head office functions also moved over a three-year period.
Initially, the site took on 1,400 jobs, which included 400 staff moving from London, and 200 to 300 moving from other parts of the country, with 750 recruited locally, providing a major boost to the Knutsford economy.
The site employs 2,500 colleagues who support the bank’s global IT infrastructure, which includes managing IT services and implementing new and developed IT systems to support core business functions such as the UK ATM network, branch accounts and the bank’s multi-billion pound payments systems.
But during the bank’s time in Knutsford many jobs have been lost – in particular since the beginning of the recession.
In January Barclays announced around 350 jobs cuts at Radbroke, and in 2005 140 jobs were moved to India.
Graham Bastin, head of infrastructure and site executive, said the bank had a responsibility to those living locally.
“I want to create an IT ecosystem in the area, working with schools, regional universities and other IT leaders to create a regional talent pool we can all benefit from and stem the traditional migration of IT talent to the south east,” he said.
“The 40th anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate the heritage of this site, but more importantly is about developing Radbroke Hall as a centre of IT excellence, staging events where innovation can flourish and IT solutions are developed which transform the way we do businesses.”
Events take place this month to celebrate the milestone, culminating in a firework display on Friday, October 26.