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James Shorthouse, Head of Alternative Markets, comments on today’s announcement from UK Prime Minister

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James Shorthouse, Head of Alternative Markets at Colliers International, comments on today’s announcement from UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, regarding the reduction in the social distancing requirement to 1 metre+.


“Today’s announcement of a reduction in the social distancing requirement to 1 metre + is a positive and important step forward, enabling the hospitality sector to begin to restart and recover. Public health and safety is still the absolute priority, but the opportunity for thousands of businesses to reopen their doors, and for millions of staff to return to work will be a real boost to the economy, and help the whole population take another step back towards some form of normality. 

“Business owners and operators have invested significant effort, and cash, in ensuring that their premises are able to trade safely, and the reduction from 2m to 1m+ means that they can now hope to run at break even or better. 

“The safety measures that the Prime Minister has announced today needs to be implemented by businesses, and adhered to by customers, but it does finally feel that the opportunity to travel and stay overnight in an hotel, take a holiday, or even to just enjoy a meal in a pub or restaurant is at hand. 

“Colliers has been working with clients across all leisure and hospitality sectors throughout the lockdown period and we know how much work has been going on in readiness for this day, to make sure that pubs, hotels, restaurants and holiday parks are ready to offer a safe and sincere welcome to returning customers. 

“There are however still real concerns about how businesses can pay their bills and overheads in the short-term. Of most concern is the payment of rent, and the landlord/tenant relationship between property owners and operators. The tenanted pub sector landlords have, since the start of lockdown, proactively engaged with their tenants and agreeing rent holidays or deferrals to ensure that the operators are on as secure a financial footing as possible, so there are perhaps some lessons about the aligning of interests which could help inform the debate across the wider leisure and hospitality market sector to ensure that this diverse and vibrant part of the UK economy survives the next few months.”

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James Shorthouse

Head of Alternative Markets

Licensed and Leisure

London - West End

James is one of the UK's leading advisers in Pub, Bar, Restaurant and Leisure sectors. He has worked in the sector for over 30 years, a period during which the sector has undergone enormous changes in its operational, ownership and regulatory structures.

Acting on behalf of major operators, investors and banks on portfolios and high value single assets, James' operator clients include Greene King, Ei group, Casual Dining Group, and Novus. On the investor side, for many years he advised Nomura and Terra Firma, worked closely with Cerberus on all of its leisure sector investments and has recently advised Patron Capital, Stellex and NewRiver.

Within Colliers International, James heads up the UK Licensed & Leisure team and also runs the businesses Alternative Markets Division which encompasses Hotels, Automotive, Healthcare, and other specialist Leisure teams.

Throughout his career James has advised major UK and International lenders, both on new lending and on developing and executing exit strategies for distressed lending positions. His team have worked with a number of F&B operators to rationalise their portfolios and have advised landlords on how to preserve value and retain tenants in difficult times.

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Hannah Zitren

Associate Director

Marketing & Communications

Manchester

I am responsible for media relations and generating coverage in top tier broadcast and print media. I work across a range of Colliers’ UK & Pan-EMEA business lines advising on their strategic and tactical PR needs.

My role includes:

·         Developing and executing PR plans for the various business lines to help promote their key messages across all aspects of the media - print, broadcast and social.

·          Media evaluation and reporting objectives, targets and successes across the business.

·         Reputation management and crisis management.

·         Media training.

·         Media engagement: setting up meetings with top tier media and various internal spokespeople to continuously expand and build a presence with property and vertical media network.

·         Consistently delivering service excellence, meeting with business heads of a regular basis and trying to influence the research as much as possible to ensure our content has a strong enough news hook.

·         Key campaigns that I work on include MIPIM; MAPIC; REVO; Midsummer Retail Report; IHIF; Cities of Influence in addition to a host of all alternative property sector research reports.

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