Network Rail has announced a package of rent relief for tenants across its commercial property estate and at the country’s busiest railway stations to help them through the impact of coronavirus.
The government body, which owns and operates Britain’s railway infrastructure, said it would cancel rent payments due from tenants in its commercial estate portfolio from March 25 to June 23, effective immediately.
Separately, it will also cancel base rent payments for retailers in its ‘managed stations’ for the first quarter of the new financial year, from April to June 2020.
Network Rail’s managed stations are the country’s biggest and busiest with a total of 20 in this classification, including Birmingham New Street, Bristol Temple Meads, Leeds, Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Piccadilly and 11 in London.
Retailers in these stations typically pay a minimum guaranteed base rent and a turnover rent based on sales.
Transport chiefs hope it will help these retailers to remain open as thousands of people stay away from public transport after the Government advised people to work from home and avoid unnecessary travel as much as possible.
Rail operators have also announced a series of timetable measures which will see a vast reduction in the number of trains running.
A total of 1,100 tenants are expected to benefit from these two newly announced measures.
David Biggs, managing director for Network Rail Property, said: “We work in partnership with retailers and tenants to provide positive experiences for passengers and communities.
“In challenging times, it is important we step up to the plate and show our partners they are valued and we are ready and willing to help.
“That is why we have taken this decisive action today.
“We also understand more support may be required as this situation develops.
“We will continue to liaise with central Government and will keep speaking with our retailers and tenants about how we can assist further.”
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