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Fri 22nd May 2020 - Propel Friday News Briefing

Story of the Day: 

UKHospitality warns Scottish reopening plan will lead to business failures: UKHospitality has warned the Scottish government’s plan for restarting the economy in Scotland is likely to result in business failures and lost jobs. The plan outlines a gradual approach to easing lock-down through four flexible phases, reviewed every three weeks. According to the plan, hospitality businesses with outdoor spaces will be permitted to reopen at phase two, but those without will not be able to until phase three. UKHospitality has voiced its concern plans to reopen hospitality and tourism businesses in Scotland have been drawn up arbitrarily, with no consultation with the sector and little forethought for the impact on the industry. Willie Macleod, UKHospitality executive director for Scotland, said: “We are seriously concerned the Scottish government’s plan for reopening will do more harm than good. It appears not to be based in any logic and has the potential to create a two-tier sector with many already-hammered businesses being left behind. Reopening hospitality businesses should be phased according to agreed protocols to ensure healthy, hygienic and safe spaces for staff members and tourists. The Scottish government’s plans rests on whether businesses have an outdoor space or not – not whether they are able to operate safely with social distancing guidelines in place. Subjecting businesses that do not have outdoor spaces but could operate perfectly safely to further forced closure is illogical and will do serious harm. Hospitality and tourism businesses in Scotland have already been hammered by this crisis and most will have had no revenue for more than three months. Many businesses have also struggled to access financial support and the larger businesses have been denied grant support altogether. The reality is some businesses will not survive this crisis. The Scottish government’s plan for reopening must ensure every single business is given the best possible chance to survive. The route map announced does not do this.”

Industry News:

Charlie McVeigh to explain how sector has to pull together to combat the ‘fear of going out’ as part of latest Premium column: Charlie McVeigh, Draft House founder and The Breakfast Club chairman, will explain how the sector has to pull together to combat the “fear of going out” as part of the latest Propel Premium column, which will be sent to subscribers on Friday (22 May) at 5pm. Meanwhile, The Breakfast Club co-founder Jonathan Arana-Morton will talk about risk, personal responsibility and how we shouldn’t settle for a watered-down version of life; while Jon Hassell, general manager of Foodco, which operates the Muffin Break and Jamaica Blue franchise, will give an overview of how his business has come out of lock-down. There will also be the latest sector whispers from Premium Diary. Propel Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before our 6am send-out, discounts to attend Propel conferences and events, and regular columns from Propel insights editor Mark Wingett. Subscribers also receive access to our database of multi-site companies, which has grown to 1,600 businesses. An annual premium subscription costs £395 plus VAT for operators and £495 plus VAT for suppliers. Email

Greene King CEO – customers must feel safe: Nick Mackenzie, chief executive of brewer and retailer Greene King, has said a key objective for the business is to make sure customers feel safe and it was working on more than 30 projects to improve the company post-lock-down. Speaking as part of Propel’s navigating the coronavirus series, Mackenzie said the important thing from all the company’s planning around reopening was “opening safely”. He said: “We want our teams to be safe and we want our customers to be safe as well. It is important the perception of safety in a pub really comes through.” Mackenzie said the company was also thinking about how it can innovate for its customers. He said: “The business needs to adapt and safe socialising as we call it, is top of the agenda. We are thinking across every one of our brands – what is the customer journey going to be in the new world? How does takeaway come into it? How does click-and-collect come into it? Importantly, once customers get into our pubs, how do we make sure we still make it a truly authentic pub experience, and how do we make sure we maintain the atmosphere that people come into a pub for? We are thinking about separation, but making sure it fits into the whole experience. Technology will form a part of it, and we already have an order and pay app, and we are looking to roll that out across the whole portfolio.” On Friday, (22 May), the company will launch a delivery and takeaway service through its Metropolitan Pub Company division in London. Mackenzie said: “Delivery was something we were just starting to dip our toe into the water with, and we have used the situation to accelerate that. Hopefully when we open fully, most of our pubs will have that option, certainly for takeaway. The crisis at one level has helped us accelerate some things that we couldn’t get to because we were too busy with day-to-day trading. We have got more than 30 projects that we have continued to work on during the lock-down, which are all going to put us in good stead, I hope, for when we open.” Mackenzie will share more of his thoughts in the video, which will be released on Friday (22 May).  

Operators warned against making ‘long-term and costly changes’ with government guidelines still being developed: Operators have been warned against making “long-term and costly changes” to their sites while government guidelines continue to be developed. In an open letter the British Institute of Innkeeping, the British Beer & Pub Association and UKHospitality said the exact mandatory requirements and guidance from government was expected to be produced within the next couple of weeks and would be subject to a period of consultation. They stated: “We understand many of you are already planning changes to your businesses, based upon specific distancing expectations in line with current government guidelines. We believe these are still under review and would caution against longer term and costly changes to environments at this time that may be unnecessary if areas such as distancing measures changed within the consultation period.” The trade bodies said they were working closely with the government and were “fully committed to sharing the requirements at the earliest opportunity”. They said: ”Last Friday we delivered our first joint draft protocols to the government, whose taskforce will be developing the formal requirements for reopening. This document has been welcomed and we are confident will form the basis of the final government requirements. That said, as you are all aware, there continues to be an active debate around the specific measures that will be required. We expect this debate to continue at pace taking into account the measures adopted by other countries and sectors – and factors will change. We have all directly fed back our members’ concerns, questions and suggestions on how to ensure the safety of their customers and teams are also balanced alongside the essential business support that will be required.” The trade bodies reiterated they were pushing for continued and enhanced support for closed businesses through furlough, rents and financing and tapered support for companies able to partially open that are initially loss making. In the meantime, they advised operators to look at measures that could help in terms of reopening. around managing and protecting teams, developing plans for key areas and protecting customers.

Adnams boss – pubs face bankruptcy if forced to follow strict social distancing measures: Andy Wood, chief executive of Suffolk brewer and retailer Adnams, has said pubs face bankruptcy if forced to follow strict social distancing measures upon reopening later this year. It comes after draft guidance from UKHospitality suggested customers could be stopped from sitting at the bar drinking among other restrictions. But Wood said the rule would make it "very difficult" for pubs to operate and suggested a reduction to one metre in terms of social distancing – as long as it does not come at the expense of people’s safety. He told BBC Radio 4's The World At One programme: “Well I think there's quite a bit of evidence from the pub industry that operating with two metres in terms of social distancing is going to be very difficult and could lead to many bankruptcies in the pub industry.” He added: "Clearly there’s one part of us that would like to see the two-metre distance rule reduced but that cannot be at the expense of the safety of customers, of communities and staff. So at the end of the day we've got to go with the health advice.”

Number of licensed premises in Britain falls 2.4% before lock-down but decline set to accelerate once industry reopens: The number of licensed premises in Britain at the end of March was down 2.4% compared with the previous year, standing at 115,108, but the rate of decline is set to accelerate once the hospitality sector begins to reopen, according to new research. The latest CGA AlixPartners Market Recovery Monitor showed the independent sector remains the largest segment of the market, with 74,271 sites – almost two-thirds of the total – alongside almost 41,000 group-owned sites. But with only a third (36%) of industry leaders believing they will eventually reopen all their sites for trading and another third (32%) anticipating the need to permanently close sites, those numbers are set to fall further. Industry estimates of the scale of closures vary widely, from below 10% to as high as 30% of total sites, said CGA group chief executive Phil Tate. 

Foodservice price index reports deflation for first time but instability ahead: The CGA Prestige Foodservice Price Index recorded deflation for the first time in its history in March – but the coronavirus pandemic is set to create significant instability in pricing in the months ahead. The index has continued a downward trend that began in July last year, and reached a year-on-year deflation rate of 2.9% in March. However, multiple impacts and pressures from the pandemic fully emerged in April, with the Federation of Wholesale Distribution indicating an 80% drop in members’ sales and fresh produce supplier Reynolds reporting a 95% drop in business almost overnight. While a fall in demand might usually result in a universal fall in prices, lock-down measures in many countries have started to affect food production output and the availability of exports, which may drive prices upwards instead. UK farmers have already faced a shortage of pickers from the European Union following the country’s Brexit vote, which helped to push year-on-year inflation in the fruit category above 10% last July—but they now face an even larger deficit of up to 40,000 pickers ahead of 2020’s peak harvest period. With sharp fluctuations in supply and demand causing both upward and downward pressures on the market, the index forecasts a period of instability in the months ahead.

US out-of-home sales show quick recovery in reopened states: Sales across restaurants and bars in the US grew by 25% week-on-week between 9 and 16 May as a number of major states reopened for business. Latest data from Nielsen CGA showed while national sales are still 54% down on pre-coronavirus levels, the opening up of the out-of-home market in states such as Texas, Florida and Georgia has provided a fillip for the industry. When lock-down first hit, overall sales fell by 80%. Results from the Nielsen CGA RestauranTrak dataset show the improving national trend has been driven by states such as Texas, where two weeks after reopening bars and restaurants sales are now only 32% below pre-coronavirus levels. Even in New York, California and Illinois, where bars and restaurants remain closed, sales growth driven by takeout and delivery has continued to improve week-on-week as both the market and consumers continue to adapt to the new trading style. In New York state, week-on-week sales grew 13% to 16 May following a 3% rise the previous week. Overall sales are down 70% on normal, but have improved from being 85% down at the start of lock-down. The trends in California and Illinois are similar. Phil Tate, global chief executive of CGA, said: “The research from the US should provide some encouragement for UK operators waiting to reopen, in that it shows how business can pick up in a relatively short period of time. Trading at about 50% of previous levels is a good start, but also shows work will be needed to maintain momentum and encourage people back out. It’s also worth remembering that even for restaurant, take-out and delivery sales are more developed and helped underpin business during lock-down and will remain an important part of the sales mix.”

Restaurant and bar operators eye ‘meanwhile’ space: Restaurant and bar operators are on the hunt for large, open-air “meanwhile” sites as the government considers allowing hospitality operators to turn public spaces into al fresco drinking and dining establishments. Bar operator MJMK, which co-founded Vinegar Yard in London Bridge in 2019, is among those eyeing “meanwhile” space with a view to installing bars in large outdoor or semi-outdoor areas. “It looks like outdoor drinking is going to be more prevalent and people are going to shy away from cramped bars for the foreseeable future,“ MJMK co-founder Marco Mendes told Property Week. “We’re looking at rooftops, car parks and potentially sites that will become something else or have planning for other projects a year or two away, where the landlord is looking to sweat the asset in the meantime.” Sites are expected to be taken on a short or rolling lease or a temporary licence. Housing and local communities secretary Robert Jenrick is considering calls by the #UKGrandOutDoorCafe campaign to allow hospitality operators to serve food and drink in open spaces and squares outside their locations. The campaign, spearheaded by Alan Lorrimer, founder of dining, drinking and live music concept The Piano Works, is backed by more than 70 operators including D&D London, Revolution Bars Group and The Breakfast Club.

BBPA – UK’s 27,000 pubs with beer gardens should be among first hospitality businesses to reopen: The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has said pubs with beer gardens should be among the first hospitality businesses to reopen after lock-down. It said pubs with beer gardens or outside terraces should be best placed to meet social distancing restrictions required for reopening from 4 July. The trade body estimated there were some 27,000 pubs across the UK with beer gardens – more than half of the UK’s 47,000 pubs in total. BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “We are working with government to consider all the possible options for reopening pubs as soon as we can in a safe and viable way while meeting the required social distancing restrictions. The 27,000 pubs in the UK with beer gardens will be among the best placed to re-open under social distancing conditions and so should be among the first to reopen. This would let people enjoy their local community pub’s beer garden in the summer sun.”

Lunch! show postponed until September 2021: Food-to-go trade event Lunch has been postponed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Diversified Communications UK, the event’s organiser, confirmed the event will now run on 23 and 24 September 2021 at ExCeL London. It said while the UK’s lock-down measures are expected to ease over the coming months, social distancing and restrictions on mass gatherings will remain for the foreseeable future. Notably, many of Lunch!’s exhibitors and visitors are among the 7.5 million people currently furloughed, with tens of thousands of outlets shut until at least July, which makes it even harder for firms to plan many months ahead. Event director Chris Brazier said: “There are still too many questions surrounding hotels, travel, social distancing measures, and individual company policies, to make it viable to run Lunch! this year. Clearly, the best and most responsible option for everyone involved is to wait and host an even better show in 2021.” Diversified Communications UK said its Commercial Kitchen event would run alongside Lunch! next year. Although the two events will maintain separate identities and focus, visitors and exhibitors will benefit from a potential boost in seeing “an even greater range of products and customers respectively”.

Job of the day: COREcruitment is seeking a managing director for a sports and entertainment company. It is looking for someone with excellent sales and business development skills as well as a strong understanding of a quality hospitality offering. This role would suite a key networker who is able to partner up with brands and people to deliver fantastic event activations. The salary is circa £80,000 plus profit share. Anyone interested can email with their CV or profile.
COREcruitment is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member

Company News:

TGI Friday’s sees Ebitda grow to £27.7m prior to lock-down, reopening 12 more sites, restaurant footprint means business 'well positioned to trade under social distancing': Electra, which is looking to sell its assets and return cash to shareholders, has reported Ebitda in its TGI Friday’s business increased to £27.7m in the past 12 months prior to the lock-down, with like-for-like sales up 3% in January and February. The private equity firm said the value of the business stood at £119m as of 31 March 2020, down from £141m in September last year. Electra said it considered the significantly reduced valuation to be “reasonable” given all the circumstances in effect, and anticipated it would recover “as we emerge from covid-19 disruptions adapted to future market conditions and opportunities”. Electra paid £142m for its 99% ownership in TGI Friday’s, having made its initial investment in 2014. TGI Friday’s will open another 12 sites next Wednesday (27 May) for click-and-collect and delivery having been “very encouraged” by the performance of the 24 sites that reopened at the start of May. Selected outlets will also offer alcohol. TGI Friday’s closed all 87 sites in March as the country went into lock-down. In its half-year update, Electra said it was putting plans in place for a phased “sit in” at TGI Friday’s sites from July – as permitted – but said its large restaurant footprint meant it would be “well positioned to operate successfully with social distancing in effect”. Electra stated: “TGI Friday’s entered March 2020 with £36m of cash, and with ‘in lock-down’ cash utilisation of £4mi per month after government support and property rental deferrals of £2m per month has significant resilience as long as government support through furlough arrangements continues to match trading restrictions. With its physical store footprint, averaging more than 6,860 square foot, significantly larger than most restaurants/bars, TGI Friday’s is well positioned to operate successfully with social distancing in effect. Peak capacity will be reduced by about 45%, however historical utilisation at close to capacity is limited to about 15% of the trading week and existing plans to extend periods of optimal utilisation will support the evolution and adaption of TGI Friday’s operating model for as long as is necessary. TGI will maintain its sustainable site development plan and we will ensure it is well positioned to optimise future performance and grow long-term value in what may be a very different market.”

Costa to reopen all standalone drive-thru sites by end of next week: Costa Coffee, which is owned by Coca-Cola, will reopen all its standalone drive-thru sites by the end of next week. The company reopened another 75 outlets on Thursday (21 May) and will reopen the remaining 58 next Thursday (28 May). Last weekend the business reopened a further 29 sites, comprising 12 delivery only – through UberEats – and 17 drive-thru outlets having reopened 31 drive-thru outlets and another 15 stores for takeaway only a few days earlier. It comes after Costa initially reopened four sites on 24 April – in Manchester, Bristol and Mansfield – two of which were delivery only and two drive-thru.

Northamptonshire-based Buddies USA goes on market: Northamptonshire-based American diner Buddies USA has put its five sites on the market, Propel has learned. The company has three sites in Northampton – at Dychurch Lane, Grange Park and Sixfields – and one each in Old Stratford, near Milton Keynes; and Rushden. It is understood CDG Leisure is marketing the sites and is inviting offers for the whole group. The sites range in size but are ground-floor units of between 1,300 and 2,600 square foot. It is understood the Old Stratford, Rushden and Sixfields sites have leases until September 2029 and the Grange Park outlet until December 2037. It is thought the lease for the Dychurch Lane site has current expired, but a new five-year lease is being agreed with a transfer of business clause in year one and a rent review in year three. The total rent bill for the sites is understood to be about £201,000 per annum, with the Dychurch Lane site having a passing rent of £23,500; Grange Park at £55,000; Rushden at £33,288 with a review in July 2020; Old Stratford at £22,080; and Sixfields at £67,000 with a rent review due this month.

Roadchef begins to reopen F&B operations, including Costa drive-thrus: Motorway services operator Roadchef has begun to reopen its food and beverage operations across its 30-strong estate, Propel has learned. As of Thursday (21 May) the Mark Fox-led company has reopened six Costa drive-thru-only units, two at Clacket Lane on the M25, two at Strensham on the M5 and two at Rownhams services on the M27. The remaining 15 Costa drive-thrus will open in two waves – on 4 and 11 June – if the initial six “trade acceptably and safely”. The company has already reopened the Chozen Noodle and Fresh Food Café sites at Strensham South as part of phase one of its three-phase return to a full offer. It plans to open the Chozen Noodle and Fresh Food Cafes at Watford Gap on the M1 and Clacket Lane within the next two weeks subject to traffic levels continuing to grow. Fox told Propel: “The phased opening – Chozen/Fresh Food Cafe in phase one, Costa/Leon in phase two and McDonald's in phase three – will begin as traffic increases local to that site although we do intend to open our only McDonald's drive-thru at Durham in line with other drive-thrus of McDonald's in the first week of June. All units when open will be takeaway only and we will be controlling numbers of people in the building and practising social distancing. We have requested assistance from the government in allowing us to open our external seating with social distancing in place to enable people to consume their purchases outside the building and are awaiting confirmation as to whether this will be permitted. This is all quite fluid and dependent on traffic volumes increasing. As a benchmark, we saw footfall last week (which was up more than 20% on the prior week) at minus 88% versus last year having been down as low as minus 97% on some days earlier in the lock-down so we still have some way to go before we can expect to trade profitably again. However, we aim to manage our return to a full offer in line with traffic growth and hope further lifting of restrictions will give people the confidence to venture out.”

Starbucks sees like-for-likes improve in US and China as sites reopen: Starbucks customers are starting to return to its cafes in the US and China as the company reopens many sites that shuttered temporarily due to the coronavirus pandemic. Chief executive Kevin Johnson told employees in a letter the company has regained about 60% to 65% of its US like-for-like sales over the past week compared with the same period a year ago. Starbucks has reopened more than 85% of its US locations with modified operations. Johnson said the company was tracking slightly above its internal estimates for recovery. In China, where cafes have been reopened longer, like-for-like sales are down only about 20%, “reflecting gradual improvements over the past several weeks,” according to Johnson. He said: “Our recovery progresses each week, and we know that it will take time to fully recover and post positive comparable store sales growth.” In the first three months of the year, Starbucks’ global like-for-like sales fell 10% as the pandemic hit locations in China and the US – its two largest markets. The company estimated it lost $915m in sales during the quarter due to store closures, reduced operating hours and lower numbers of customers. Catastrophe pay for baristas, hourly pay increases and the cost of store safety items such as face coverings weighed on profits. Its fiscal second-quarter earnings were nearly cut in half as a result. Johnson also noted until customer levels return to pre-crisis levels, many baristas will be working shorter hours than they were before. The company is extended its pandemic unpaid leave policy through to the end of September.

Nando’s ramps up delivery and click-and-collect to almost 50 sites: Nando’s has ramped up its delivery and click-and-collect offer to close to 50 sites, after reopening an initial five sites for collection last week, Propel understands. The company has now made collection available in a further 41 sites across the UK. Earlier this month, the company reopened a further 32 sites across the UK for delivery only. It is understood this number has been increased by a further 14 sites. Last month the company reopened seven of its kitchens to help feed NHS workers, and subsequently opened them for delivery to the wider public. It is thought the company hasn’t publicised the reopened sites after the huge response it received regarding the initial reopened sites. It is understood the brand wanted to give these restaurants a “bit of breathing space to get up and running”.

Five Guys now operating from circa 70 sites: Five Guys, the US better burger brand, has now reopened 69 of its 100-strong UK estate, with more openings expected to come online next week. The company, which is offering a full menu available either for delivery and click-and-collect services through its reopened sites, reopened a further four sites on Thursday (21 May), in Swansea, Oxford, Worcester, and Peterborough. The group’s debut UK site in London’s Covent Garden is expected to come back online next week, with the brand hoping to have almost its entire 100-strong estate reopened by the end of June, where possible. John Eckbert, chief executive of Five Guys UK said: “We have adopted a phased approach to reopening Five Guys stores, adhering to government advice and ensuring the safety of our customers and crew is paramount.”

One of Travelodge’s biggest landlord offers alternative plan to avoid CVA: One of Travelodge’s biggest landlords is gathering support for an alternative payment plan in an effort to stop the operator going through a company voluntary arrangement (CVA). In a letter to landlords, seen by Property Week, Nick Leslau, owner of Secure Income REIT, said Travelodge’s negotiating stance is “unreasonable and revised terms are unacceptable to the vast majority of those property owners we have spoken to”. Secure Income REIT owns 123 Travelodge hotels and has a rent roll of £28.3m. Leslau is trying to prevent Travelodge forcing through a CVA, which it has threatened to do if landlords do not agree to a rent restructuring that cuts 80% of rent payments for some properties until the end of 2022. Leslau is proposing an alternative agreement, in which April quarterly rent is deferred, and the hotel operator pays 80% rent across all of its properties until the end of the year. He added: “Lease extensions reflecting the amounts written off will be required in December 2023. This would be a constructive step in a genuine attempt to reach agreement to support Travelodge’s business and should reduce the chances of a CVA in two ways – demonstrating the presence of a majority that might defeat any potential CVA vote, whilst tabling a generous offer worth some £70m to Travelodge in support of trade during 2020.” Travelodge, owned by Goldman Sachs and two New York-based hedge funds, owns more than 580 hotels and recently reported earnings of £129.1m with net debt of about £311m. In March, the hotel operator drew down £40m from a revolving credit facility.

The Coconut Tree takes next step in phased reopening: Sri Lankan restaurant group The Coconut Tree will reopen its Cardiff restaurant on Friday (22 May). The Mill Lane venue will be open on Friday and Saturday evenings from 5pm to 9pm for takeaways only. The Oxford restaurant will follow on Wednesday (27 May), offering takeaways from Wednesday to Sunday between 5pm and 9pm. The reopenings are part of a phased return to normality for the Sri Lankan street-food pioneers; they opened their Cheltenham and Bristol Gloucester Road sites up for takeaways earlier this month. After investing in new technology and procedures, customers will be able to pre-order directly through The Coconut Tree website for click-and-collect at the Cheltenham, Bristol and Oxford sites, allowing The Coconut Tree to cut commission costs and keep more revenue within the business. In Cardiff, customers will still be able to order via delivery apps UberEats or Deliveroo. 

Deliveroo launches SME support package: Deliveroo has launched a support package for its small and medium-sized restaurant partners. The partnership with Visa has seen 200 restaurant partners across the UK provided with a £500 cash payment, which they can put towards anything of their choice to help them stay open. It is also offering bespoke, expert advice to support restaurants as they switch to a delivery-only model and help sustain their businesses. Deliveroo has also waived the £50 sign-up fee for all small and medium-sized restaurants across the UK, so it is free of charge for new restaurants to join the delivery platform. Other measures Deliveroo has already introduced include a new rapid payment service for restaurants that allows them to access money made from deliveries within a day, developed a new “contact-free delivery” feature in the app; and launched a micro-site for restaurant partners that provides information and links to help on how to operate during the coronavirus crisis.

C&C Group to open new Tennent’s warehouse and distribution centre in Edinburgh following operations review: Drinks company C&C Group is to open a new 50,000 square foot warehouse and distribution centre for its Tennent’s brand in Edinburgh. The site, located in Newbridge, is scheduled to open in October. It comes following a review of C&C Group’s supply chain and distribution operations across Scotland. As a consequence, it has been decided the Matthew Clark Glasgow warehouse and transport operation will be consolidated into the Tennent’s facility in Cambuslang and the new depot in Edinburgh. This is expected to be completed by April 2021. As part of the transition, the Matthew Clark customer contact centre will transfer to either Wellpark Brewery or the Tennent’s depot in Cambuslang. The Tennent’s and Matthew Clark brands and sales teams will continue to operate separately and are not impacted. C&C Group chief operating officer Andrea Pozzi said: “Extending our distribution operations is a positive step and will further strengthen our logistics capabilities, eliminate transport inefficiencies and enhance the service we provide to our customers across Scotland. While overall we are creating a small number of new roles, we recognise some colleagues in Glasgow may decide that they are unable to transfer to our new facility in Edinburgh. We have therefore engaged with those affected by these proposals and their representative organisations, to ensure any transition is managed effectively, employees are supported and the processes are clear.”

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