Milen will take up the position next month.

The British Embassy has today (4 November) announced that Lloyd Milen, currently Vice Consul for the Alicante region, has been appointed as Consul-General in Barcelona and the Consular Regional Manager for north-east Spain, which includes the popular regions for Britons of Catalunya and the Balearic Islands.

Mr Milen, who will take up the position next month, replaces Andrew Gwatkin, who has left for a new role outside the Foreign Office. Recruitment for a new Vice Consul in Alicante begins this week.

As Consul-General, Mr Milen will represent UK interests and lead the teams of the British Consulates in Barcelona, Palma and Ibiza, as well as the British Honorary Consuls in Minorca, Tarragona, Gerona and Andorra.

Lloyd Milen said: “I am delighted to take up this opportunity to lead three very experienced consular teams who provide high quality assistance to the British visitors and residents that need our help. The consulates of north-east Spain are among the busiest in the world, together handling nearly 600 serious assistance cases last year – from deaths to detentions to hospitalisations - and issuing more than 1200 emergency passports.”

The north-east consular region sees some 5.2 million British visitors every year, many to the popular destinations of Barcelona, the Catalan coast and Balearics resorts. In addition, more than 37,000 Britons are registered as residents of the region, with many more thought to reside for all or part of the year.

Simon Manley, British Ambassador, said: “Lloyd has been a fantastic asset to British tourists and residents in the Alicante region for the last seven years, and I am very pleased that he will now be taking his skills and experience to lead the teams in north-east Spain and Andorra. I also have no doubt that we will be able to recruit a talented person to replace him as Vice Consul in Alicante, in order to carry on our valuable work there.”

Mr Milen was born in Middlesbrough and studied political science at Brunel University, followed by roles in the NHS and housing charities, before moving to Spain in 2006. He was appointed Vice Consul in Alicante in 2008.