Shopping centre owner Intu is set to slash service charges for tenants in the second half of 2020, to help ease the burden on retailers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Intu, which owns Manchester’s Trafford Centre and Lakeside in Essex, is understood to have found cost savings that will allow it to lower its service charges by 22% in the second half. This would deliver an 11% overall reduction for the year.
Intu said it welcomed the business rates holiday announced by the government last week, but “more support was needed” for companies.
A spokesman said: ”We will work closely with our tenant customers to help mitigate the challenges we are all facing.
We have already written to our customers to let them know we have been able to find additional cost savings to reduce the 2020 service charge budget by 22% in the second half delivering an 11% reduction for the full year.
We will continue to do all we can for the brands who rent with us while also ensuring that any concessions we make are not to the detriment of our own financial position as we look to address our balance sheet issues.
We welcomed the business rates holiday and other measures recently announced by the Government but more support is needed. The retail and leisure industries will be among the hardest hit by the coronavirus and we will be working closely with our customers, other landlords and industry associations to best represent their needs in Westminster.”
Several retailers, including New Look and H&M, have requested rent holidays during the crisis, which has seen all non-essential shops in the UK forced to close.
Earlier this month, Intu warned it is at risk of going under after reporting a £2bn loss for the year to 31 December 2019.