By Staff Reporter
Palma
THE British Consul, Paul Abrey, said yesterday that Palma would soon have one of the biggest and best British Consulates in the world.
The British Consul held talks yesterday with the Speaker of the Balearic Parliament, Pere Rotger, and informed him of plans to move the Consulate, later this year, from the Plaza Mayor to new, bigger offices off the Plaza España.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is making a sizeable investment in Palma to ensure that the British Consulate will be one of the best in the world. Since becoming Consul a year ago, Paul Abrey, made finding new and better offices for the Consulate one of his top priorities. The large numbers of steps up to the Consulate in the Plaza Mayor and the lack of space are just two of the reasons why it was decided that new offices were needed.

Paul Abrey searched high and low across Palma to find new premises and the Consular offices, which will be officially opened later this year, have everything which is required; they are right next to the Plaza España with all its public transport routes; there is a lift up to the offices which have far more space and will allow Consular staff far greater flexibility. Also, playing a key role in the new Consular offices, will be Age Concern and their “helpline” staff.

The British ambassador to Spain Sir Stephen Wright is expected to preside over the opening of the Plaza España Consular offices in one of his last acts as Ambassador. Sir Stephen, who has been one of the key supporters of larger and better Consular offices in Palma, is retiring this year.

Over the coming month Paul Abrey is expected to visit all the leading local authorities to inform them of the move. He told Rotger yesterday that 2007 should be a real exciting year for the Consulate and its team.

At the moment Spain is the most popular tourist destination for the British and it is also one of the areas where British people most like to live with an estimated 500'000 Britons now living in Spain including 50'000 in the Balearics.

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