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10 years in Canary Wharf

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In 2001, after 315 years, Barclays announced that it would be moving its head office from Lombard Street in the City of London to 1 Churchill Place in Canary Wharf.

Matt Barrett (Chief Executive 1999-2004; Chairman 2004-2007), saw the move as an opportunity to drive cultural change, with 5,000 colleagues from across multiple locations working in one central, state of the art location.  

The new office opened in 2005 to mixed reactions from employees. Some felt a sense of belonging and attachment to Lombard Street while others realised the building had become dated, crowded and not conducive to a 21st century bank. The new, purpose built office in Canary Wharf quickly changed perceptions with its impressive facilities, including restaurants, large atrium areas and more meeting space for external guests. 

Barclays employees were informed of the move on 5 September 2001. The terrible events of 9/11 six days later in New York, saw the building plans drastically altered, including reducing it from 50 to 31 storeys. The office would also be the first building in the world with a reinforced central core that could ‘invacuate’ colleagues safely in an emergency situation. 

Construction took 30 months to complete and in January 2005, employees were taken on an orientation of the building. By the end of May 2005, everyone had arrived and Barclays’ registered office address formally changed from 54 Lombard Street to 1 Churchill Place on 31 May 2005.

In the following video colleagues share their stories of how the move signified an exciting new era for Barclays.

Find out more about the history of Barclays’ head offices History of Barclays’ head offices (new window) Learn more about our history in our archivesLearn more about our history in our archives (new window)
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