Property industry body Revo has written to the chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for financial support for retail landlords impacted by rent cuts, amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Earlier this week Sunak extended the 12- month business rates holiday to all retailers, to help mitigate the growing economic impact of the virus.
The letter, endorsed by the UK’s largest retail property owners, including British Land, Hammerson, Intu, Landsec, Aberdeen Standard Investments, Schroders Real Estate Investment and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, welcomes the intervention on business rates. It also calls for:
- More clarity on how the business rates freeze will be implemented;
- More stimulus for consumer spending
- Direct financial support for landlords facing drastic cuts in rents.
Ed Cooke, chief executive at Revo, said: “The government’s intervention on business rates was welcome, and an overdue recognition of the burden of this tax on retail, but still we will need much, much more support to preserve 3 million UK retail jobs and ensure vulnerable people can access the goods and services they need.
“We need urgent clarification on how the rates holiday will be implemented, more stimulus for consumer spending as we awaken from this nightmare, and support for retail property owners, faced with drastic rent cuts, who will bear a huge amount of the financial pain.
“The owners of retail property, many of which are pension funds, invest in the fabric of our towns and cities and also need direct financial support from The Treasury if we want shops and other crucial infrastructure to survive and to prevent the rapid decline of our urban centres.”