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The Big Rethink: Charles Beer

Property and Marketing Manager, The Ethical Property Company

When the lockdown and furlough began I was left as the only Ethical Property employee at Green Park Station. Overnight we went from a vibrant hub to a quiet and eerie place – and often I was the only person there.

Sarah Campbell (Ethical Property’s area manager for the south west) and I agreed that it was vital that the Bath Farmers’ Market continued. The market has operated for over 20 years and has been fundamental to the growth of Green Park Station. Together with Laura Loxton, the Farmers’ Market manager, we agreed social distancing measures, additional staff, sanitising stations, an increased cleaning regime and a reduction in number of essential food traders.

We worked with Sarah from BA1 Radio, BBC Radio and with our great local social media network to let Bathonians know we were staying open. Paul Robertson, the Sainsbury’s manager, worked with me to provide synergy in our approach to our overall safety. In the early weeks, the footfall dropped off dramatically, but the traders and regular customers kept the faith.

As each week passed more customers returned and there was great support for the small local independent traders

Ethical Property also donated £400 towards food parcels for those most affected, and the traders and regular customers supported the venture, eventually raising over £1,000 and distributing to over 50 families. As each week passed more customers returned and there was great support for the small local independent traders. The lockdown has enabled new customers to experience the great produce on offer for the first time and then they have continued to shop here. Now we have a vibrant Saturday morning marketplace once again with a great atmosphere.

Ethical Property has supported our other tenants both retail and office based to reopen as safely as possible. We are assisting our tenants to re-engage with their clients in new ways as they get to grips with the realities of the current restrictions.

The lockdown has inspired a sense of community nationally and this is fully evident at Green Park Station. Our tenants have been enthusiastic in their belief in the future and finding new ways to support each other. The reduction in out-of-town visitors may enable local residents to explore the less well-known areas of the city and increase our footfall.

The lockdown has inspired a sense of community nationally and this is fully evident at Green Park Station

In the last week we secured new tenants for both retail and office space which is an indication that the outlook is promising and that we are bucking the normal high street trend. We have also received many enquiries from new prospective market traders and those seeking larger retail opportunities.

Now that all the units within are fully opened, there is a genuine optimism that collectively we can emerge from this Covid-19 experience in a strong place.

ethicalproperty.co.uk

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