Cadogan, which owns 93-acres of London around Chelsea and Knightsbridge, has announced an array of measures to help support local people and businesses.
The family business, which dates back more than 300 years, owns some of the world’s most iconic retail and leisure streets including the King’s Road, Sloane Street and surrounding areas across Kensington and Chelsea. They contain many leisure and hospitality businesses – many of which have traded for decades.
There have been more than 12 recessions and two world wars during Cadogan’s period managing the estate – and its chief executive has pledged to do whatever it takes to help people and businesses survive the current crisis.
As part of their long-term focus on curating the right mix of businesses and supporting them through tough times, Cadogan last week agreed an array of measures to support businesses on top of business rate relief, Government-backed loans and VAT-deferral announced by the Chancellor. To date, Cadogan has helped over 200 businesses across the Estate.
Cadogan’s support measures include:
100% rent relief for all restaurants, cafes and bars over the next three months
100% rent relief for smaller retail and leisure businesses over the next three months
A switch from quarterly to monthly rents going forwards for all retailers and many other small businesses
Enhanced security measures to protect business premises
Additional tailored financial packages for commercial tenants on a case-by-case basis
Identifying car parking spaces and residential properties for use by NHS staff
To help vulnerable people in the area, Cadogan is working with the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation, which supports local micro-charities. It has enjoyed a long-term partnership with the foundation which is able to target assistance at grassroots charities and groups that are able to deliver on-the-ground help where it is most needed.
The foundation, with Cadogan’s support, launched a COVID-19 appeal last Friday and will be using funds raised to provide weekly packages for vulnerable and isolated people, along with other support requested by charities in the area.
More than 20,000 local residents are over the age of 65, representing 12% of Kensington and Chelsea’s population. The borough has a large proportion of one-person households (47%) – the highest in the country – including a high proportion of lone pensioner households.
Cadogan is also in talks with the local NHS around how property and car parking spaces can be put to good use helping frontline medical staff.
Hugh Seaborn, chief executive of Cadogan, said:
“In line with the Chancellor, we are doing whatever it takes to ensure the future vibrancy of the area and seeking to safeguard everything that makes Chelsea so special. It is heartbreaking to see the potential damage to communities and to help avoid this we continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the numerous shops and restaurants that are at the very heart of the area.
“One of our biggest priorities is supporting those members of our community who are most at risk. With the commitment of the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation, who we have a long history of supporting, I am confident we can reach out to the right people and give them the right help.”
Victoria Steward Todd, director at Kensington and Chelsea Foundation, said:
“Cadogan has been a long-term supporter of the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation and we’re grateful for both its financial backing and its advocacy with the wider business community. We’re greatly concerned about the impact of social isolation on vulnerable people during the current uncertainty. The fundraising appeal we have launched will support local partners and projects working together to create weekly care packages for 1,000 vulnerable people across the borough.”
Image: Paul the Archivist