Compass, D&D and Edwardian Hotels call on prime minister to encourage return to the office

05 July 2021 by
Compass, D&D and Edwardian Hotels call on prime minister to encourage return to the office

Some hospitality business leaders and landlords have written to the prime minister urging him to encourage people back to the office to help city centres "buzz again".

D&D London chairman Des Gunewardena, Edwardian Hotels London managing director Inderneel Singh and Compass Group UK & Ireland managing director Robin Mills are among the signatories.

The letter, organised by lobby group London First and signed by more than 50 business leaders, said firms need to know what the end of lockdown restrictions will mean in practice before further restrictions are eased in England on 19 July.

"For many months now, employers and employees have dealt with often complex – sometimes mixed – messages tending towards caution where the advice has not been clear cut," the letter said.

"At this critical moment, we believe that it is essential that the government is unambiguous in its communications that when the stage four restrictions lift, public transport is safe, offices are safe, and work-from-home is no longer the default."

The letter called for a "clear plan of action" to revive city centres, including government support to encourage commuters and tourists back to London, funding to keep public transport running at full capacity and a "reskilling" programme to get Londoners into work.

"This is the moment to be unequivocal and set the country clearly on a path to recovery," the letter said.

Other business leaders to sign the letter include the chief executives of landlords Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, British Land and the Portman Estate.

Another signatory is Colette O'Shea, chief operating officer of Landsec, which owns several Ibis and Novotel hotels and retail and leisure developments such as One New Change in London and the Trinity Leeds shopping centre.

Boris Johnson is expected to set out details of the final stage of England's roadmap out of lockdown at a press conference this evening (5 July).

Image: Willy Barton/

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