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Mark Smith Director Valuation Advisory Parkinson Real Estate


@ParkinsonRE /company/


parkinsonrealestate Blackburn town centre


 with more due soon, as well the Recovery Fund and Levelling Up money. There is much depending on what the government does on business rates and what can be sorted by reform of landlord and tenant practices.”


Amid the carnage being faced by retail, new visions are emerging, partnerships are being formed or refreshed and recovery plans are being started are reworked. Town and city centres are looking to reinvent themselves, because they have to.


Simon adds: “We are seeing new proposed uses emerging, with investment in town centre health, wellbeing, community care,  arts, culture, libraries, innovation centres, lifestyle style, local workspace, as well as in the public realm to create spaces for people.”


He is also seeing lots of “pop-ups and temporary attractions”, as well public art.


Danny Pinkus, partner at Preston-based commercial property consultants Robert Pinkus and Company, says: “The high street is having to reinvent itself and the Covid pandemic has been a catalyst for that having to happen now.


“We’re starting to see the evolution to a more leisure-led approach, but it is important to stress retail is not dead.


“People will always want to go out and shop, towns have to be really creative and ambitious as to how they satisfy that demand.”


Gary Crompton is director of retail property consultants Barker Proudlove and was another speaker at last year’s conference. Its client portfolio includes the owners of St George’s. The business also acts for the Houndshill centre in Blackpool and Burnley’s Charter Walk.


He says the uncertainty around high streets isn’t all down to the impact of the pandemic  of out-of-town shopping, including the smaller suburban retail centres with anchor supermarket tenants that have sprung up in recent times in areas such as Preston.


And he adds that the situation isn’t the same in every town’s shopping area, with some proving more robust than others.


 Fund board, believes there is an opportunity for positive change but adds: “It requires action and it requires some thinking.”


 large empty store units such as Debenhams.


Simon Quin


“We are advising on three substantial buildings in Burnley town centre, one is a  is a former Woolworth’s/DW Sports and the third is part of the Arcadia portfolio. In these three instructions alone, there is probably 75,000 sq ft of empty space.”


Gary Crompton says landlords had been  before Covid hit with a growing focus on alternative uses. He says: “Their minds had already been opened even pre-Covid.”


He points to the plans St George’s owners had to create a restaurant quarter, mothballed as a result of the pandemic, and which had signed up two major food and drink tenants.


It’s a plan he believes that was the “right decision” for the centre and may yet still happen.


However, looking at the general picture around repurposing retail, he says: “It has  up. In most cases retail has still been the best value.”


LANCASHIREBUSINESSVIEW.CO.UK


 “Hopefully we’ll see a really creative potential use for that space.”


He adds: “Landlords have got to start thinking about alternative uses. Hopefully owners of properties have recognised that if they sit waiting for a big retail rent to come their way they are going to be waiting a long time.”


 based property agent Whiteacres, says: “I think we can all see that the high street is going to suffer over the next few years and in my opinion the government need to consider the cost of business rates.


“Landlords also need to look at their rents and planners need to be lenient and allow certain buildings to be converted into residential or live/work space.


EVOLUTION OR REVOLUTION FOR OFFICES


Business leaders across Lancashire are still uncertain about their short and medium- term office requirements. Most have created a more agile workforce which has aided the continuity of their businesses.


 term if landlords aren’t dynamic and continuously evolve their offering to suit occupiers ever changing requirements to maintain their value and income.


Various studies have shown that employees welcome the ability to work from home yet the majority don’t want to work at home full time.  balance due to the merger of the two over the past twelve months with more developing a newfound respect for their workplace.


  to become more comfortable and designed around employee enrichment to enhance the occupiers working life.


Employees, and ultimately businesses, will be more demanding in terms of sustainability of their workspace. Landlords and developers will need to create co-working spaces with more integrated services such as childcare,  same complex with these complexes becoming more integrated collaborative spaces where different companies will meet and interact rather than having exclusive standalone  space within the same complex will need to be available for occupants to suit their quickly evolving requirements.


Developers are lagging way behind in the  other highly developed countries. The existing model of property developers building identikit  an increasing appetite for bespoke designed 


Let us resolve your property issues, call us on 01772 876456 or visit parkinsonre.com


59


PROPERTY


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