Banking giant Barclays has signed a 15-year lease on new premises which will become home to a new retail branch in central Birmingham.

The 15,000 sq ft site on High Street will house Barclays’ retail and local business divisions and around 40 staff and will become the flagship branch in the second city.

Richard Smalley, retail director for Barclays in the central region, said: “The regeneration and ongoing retail development that has been, and is continuing to, take place within Birmingham makes it an ideal location for our new flagship branch.

“Our enhanced branch will feature the very latest technology and provide a comfortable and accessible environment for both our customers and employees alike.”

Michelle Smith has been appointed as branch manager and will bring a wealth of retail banking experience to her new role, having opened the bank’s flagship branch in Leicester earlier this year.

She said: “I was raised in Walsall, so I am familiar with the area and the great people who live here.”

This latest investment follows that of the Bank’s corporate division, which earlier this month moved in to new office space at the prestigious One Snow Hill address.

Barclays is expected to open the new High Street branch in April 2010 followed by an official launch celebration in June 2010.