BLOG: As The Wigley Group’s head of estates, Louis Smith is responsible for overseeing The Wigley Group’s property portfolio. He gives an insight into how the estates team is adapting to the challenges of Coronavirus.

Communicating with our commercial tenants has always been a central focus for our estates department.  As a responsible landlord, The Wigley Group encourages open and regular lines of communication for mutual benefit.

We have strong occupancy across our sites, with many long-standing tenants, and communication and collaboration has proved more important than ever as the impact of Coronavirus is felt by every business, including our own, to varying degrees.

The estates team is experiencing a greater demand on our time and resources as, understandably, tenants look to us for help and support.  We have been assessing individual needs of those tenants whose business has had to temporarily close due to restrictions, whilst also balancing this with those tenants still operating on a daily basis and helping where we can.  We are trying to share the burden whilst also balancing that with our own on-going needs as a business.

The team has adapted well to working remotely and at a safe distance, and are pleased to have been able to progress three deals towards completion in recent weeks.  We are also offering now a number of short-term lets at a range of industrial units in Coventry, Southam and Crick, which are particularly suitable for those in the manufacturing, engineering and logistics sectors.

It is a challenging time for everyone and while we are having to be flexible and adapt on a day-to-day basis, we are still working as close to normal as possible and still very much have our eye on the bigger and longer-term picture.

Across The Wigley Group, we are following government measures and advice to ensure we are doing all we can to support the NHS and others working on the frontline to fight the pandemic.

There continues to be some incredible community initiatives and as a Rugby Lions RFC player, I had no hesitation in going bald with my colleague Leigh Colledge, who plays for Rugby Welsh RFC, to support Newbold RFC’s ‘Brave the Shave’.  The fundraising effort, which began with a modest target of £100, has so far raised in excess of £70,000, with The Wigley Group’s directors contributing a significant sum.  A fantastic example of people coming together to support eachother in such an unprecedented time.