Staying positive in tough times

Staying positive in tough times

Lincoln-based professionals told how they are keeping their business moving and carefully supporting clients during Coronavirus.

Chartered surveyor Banks Long & Co’s team has remained active “behind the scenes” during the lockdown, completing deals agreed before and after the virus hit.

Managing Director Tim Bradford said: “The tragic situation will undoubtedly have a permanent impact in a wide variety of sectors – not just business but within the social fabric of the country.”

But he said businesses must go on and he expressed his optimism for the future.

“It appears that we are over the worst.  The talk now is of a gradual release of the restrictions and there are signs that the country will start to emerge, albeit slowly, out of the lockdown.

“We expect some retailers to start opening their doors in two to three weeks’ time and we are experiencing first-hand building contractors returning to sites.  We were particularly pleased to see paving contractors back in Lincoln’s Cornhill Quarter – working safely to finish the granite and York stone public realm. Hopefully, this area will act as a ray of sunshine for people to look forward to,” said Tim.

“Builders are also back to work on Phase 2 of St Modwen Park Lincoln, where two new warehouses are due to be completed by the end of Q3 2020 – 25,000 sq ft is already pre-let to DHL Parcels and we are in advanced discussions with an occupier for the 55,000 sq ft unit.  This sector is expected to go from strength to strength over coming months.”

During the past few weeks Banks Long & Co’s property management team has been busier than ever, dealing with dozens of landlord clients and an inevitable avalanche of requests from tenants, large and small.

“The team’s hands-on, professional approach means we have been able to continue helping Landlords over decisions on how to deal with rent and service charge payments, on an individual case-by-case basis. We are well-placed to deal with the anticipated pressure on the June quarter as tenants continue to seek help with their rental payments.

“We are actively lobbying the Government on behalf of our commercial property landlords who appear to have been overlooked in terms of national support. We have also been able to compare restructuring strategies with other landlords and their advisors.”

Banks Long & Co’s building consultancy team has continued working on a number of live projects, including applications which were on the brink of being submitted for planning permission when the virus hit the UK.

“I want to give credit to local authorities, such as the City of Lincoln and North Kesteven District Council, for reacting well to the lockdown by keeping their planning services running and registering and determining applications.  This will become a factor which will keep the economy going post Covid-19.”

Banks Long & Co is a member of the UK-wide group of independent commercial agents PAI (Property Agents Independent) and it continues to offer a full range of services, from valuations to the sale and letting of property, lease renewals and rent reviews expertise countrywide.

“PAI gives us access to information and initiatives which, in turn, have significantly assisted with the high level of advice we have been able to give to clients,” said Tim.

“Last week we completed a large land sale to a Housing Association and instructed solicitors on an investment buy (worth about £2 million) on the south coast.

“We have also sold the multi-let Thornley Station Industrial Estate at Shotton Colliery, Durham to a pension fund for a Newark-area client and re-let café/retail premises in Heacham, Norfolk to new tenants on a 10-year lease.

“To summarise I feel there are green shoots of optimism. The business world will re-emerge from this unexpected and tragic period.  It is likely to be a slow process but, as a firm, Banks Long & Co remains committed to providing help and assistance to existing and new clients,” said Tim.

“I believe that opportunities will present themselves.  Having experienced other recessionary times, it will be important for businesses, local and national government and pro-business groups to pull together and allow the economy to begin to grow, after what has been a massive shock to the system.

“It will be challenging but we are confident that Lincoln and the East Midlands region will return to business and we are looking forward in the hope that we can help to re-fire the engines which drive our economy.”

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