To support station retailers, as well as its commercial tenants, Network Rail has announced that it will waive rent payments for the next quarter.
As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic begins to severely impact trading, with stations quiet and staff sent home, Network Rail is cancelling all first quarter (25 March – 23 June 2020) rent payments due from the 1,000 tenants in its commercial estate portfolio, providing significant relief for small businesses that are worried about the impact of the virus on their footfall.
Further, Network Rail will cancel all base rent payments for retailers in its managed stations for the first quarter of the new financial year (April-June 2020). Retailers in stations typically pay a minimum guaranteed (base rent), and a turnover rent based on sales. Removing base rent payments for the entire quarter will help the 100 retailers in Network Rail’s 20 managed stations – the busiest in the country.
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.”