Grosvenor Britain & Ireland is acting fast on the ground to help tackle the COVID-19 outbreak.
Our priorities are to:
1. Help reduce the rate at which the virus spreads, and
2. Support local communities, businesses and the long-term future of places that we manage.
In London’s West End
We have already contacted all our retail and food and beverage tenants offering support where needed to ease cashflow concerns and ensure that staff can be paid. This includes waiving rent for the next quarter for the ones that are independent & most vulnerable.
Every one of our commercial tenants has a dedicated asset manager and can contact them with enquiries. Our teams are always on hand to help tenants with any questions they may have. We have also moved to pay all our suppliers on average within 8 days. Most of them are small and independent businesses and this is critical to help them stay afloat during the lockdown. The industry average in normal times is at least 30 days.
Like so many companies, we have a lot of staff who want to help. One of our team, Dean, has organised a team to deliver sandwiches to vulnerable and elderly residents on Cundy Street in Belgravia, using donations by the general manager of Waitrose on Motcomb Street, and set up a chat group so that people can stay in touch during isolation.
We are also promoting Westminster City Council’s fantastic Westminster Connects volunteering programme and there are plans afoot to create a new street art mural in Eccleston Yards in praise of the NHS and to celebrate key workers in the community.
In essence, we are trying to make sure that everyone can bounce back quickly and ensure the long-term survival and prosperity of the West End. Because clearly, we all have a common interest here.
Funding charities on the frontline
Grosvenor Britain & Ireland has made an immediate initial donation of £250,000 to the London Community Foundation. This will support front line efforts to help communities in the capital most affected by COVID-19. With the Westminster Foundation, we have also waived the next quarter’s rent for 26 charities the rent office space from us.
One of these is the Cardinal Hume Centre. Right now, they are providing a home to 36 young homeless residents, amongst a lot of other great work.
You get a flavour of what this is really like from one of their staff, Patricia Marron, who emailed to say: “I’m covering a shift in our hostel today. Some of the young people are very nervous about going outside so we’re trying to get creative and reduce their isolation, inviting them to water our community garden or play table tennis. Our life skills coordinator Gail and her clients are cooking together.”
Elsewhere, Grosvenor is working hard to support the community in Southwark close to our site at the Biscuit Factory. We are helping the Compass School with funding, resources and equipment to enable their most disadvantaged pupils to access virtual learning. Close to our sites in Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire, we have also helped supply food boxes and essential items to the people most in need.
Keeping in touch
Over the coming weeks, we will continually monitor official guidance and actively respond to feedback from all the people and businesses that Grosvenor works with.
The best way to keep up to date with our latest news is via Twitter @Grosvenor_GBI. You can also visit this webpage: https://www.grosvenor.com/news-and-insight
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