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Tue 8th Jun 2021 - Boxpark secures debut site outside London with launch of new F&B concept BoxHall
Boxpark secures debut site outside London with launch of new F&B concept BoxHall: Boxpark has secured its first site outside London with the launch of sibling concept BoxHall, in Bristol. The group has just agreed a lease for the harbourside location at the regeneration of Welsh Back Bristol’s O&M’s sheds, which is being delivered by Cordwell Property Group. Unlike Boxpark developments that focus on placemaking and creating spaces, BoxHall sites will be located in existing buildings within town and city centres across the UK. Opening in June 2022, BoxHall Bristol is a new and premium food and beverage-led concept with a modern food hall structure, set to offer “high-quality product ranges and carefully-selected, authentic cuisine” from local, independent street food traders and restaurant operators in Bristol. Alongside the food offer, BoxHall Bristol will also provide a diverse, community-led programme of events in collaboration with local homegrown talent and partners, as well as unique gaming experiences. The 20,000 square foot venture will feature seven kitchens. There will be two external terraces overlooking the waterside. Opportunities for prospective tenants include turn-key kitchen solutions with turnover-only licences. Boxpark will commence tenant marketing in the later part of 2021. Boxpark chief executive and founder Roger Wade said: “It has been an incredibly difficult year but we remained optimistic during the pandemic and used the time to progress our expansion plans. Our team has worked extremely hard to secure our first site outside of London and this is a huge milestone for the Boxpark family. This new development demonstrates our investment in continuing to evolve both the brand and the sites we build and operate in.” BoxHall is part of Boxpark’s wider expansion plans to roll out a mixture of sites both inside and outside of London. Boxpark’s portfolio currently includes three London sites – Croydon, Shoreditch and Wembley – and BoxHall will be a new addition, with further locations to be announced later this year.

Three quarters of pubs trading at less than 75% of 2019 levels: Three quarters (74%) of pubs are trading at less than 75% when compared to 2019 figures – highlighting the effect restrictions are having on the sector. The survey of British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) members also showed without restrictions fully lifted, enabling them to trade freely and fully from 21 June, 11% of businesses will fail, 43% will be loss-making and will continue to take further debt, while 34% will only manage to break even with current regulations in place. Staffing continues to be one of the main challenges, with 53% saying they cannot recruit enough staff to cope with the additional workload created by covid restrictions, and 35% said they have lost staff as soon as they have returned from furlough. More than two thirds (67%) said a lack of public understanding about the constantly changing rules and regulations for indoor versus outdoor visits has put more pressure on staff to effectively communicate and manage customer visits. Almost 60% said they have had to take a Bounce Back loan to survive and 24% still have unpaid rent debt that they are now also facing. Almost 50% have pandemic specific debts of more than £20,000 per pub and despite using their reserves, in many cases using their savings and borrowing from their own pensions, half of these have debts of between £40,000 and £80,000 per pub. A total of 56% said they will need more than two years to repay the debts accumulated in the pandemic, and half of those will still be paying off those debts over a minimum of five to ten years. BII chief executive Steven Alton said: “We are calling on government to now deliver against its roadmap, allowing our pubs to begin their long road to recovery, before it’s too late.”

Spending on staycations in May rises by more than 25% versus 2019, pubs and bars take advantage of indoor rules relaxation: Spending on staycations grew by 25.5% in May versus the same month in 2019 while bars and pubs also enjoyed a reversal of declines against April 2021. The research from Barclaycard showed more holidaymakers either embarked on or booked staycations in May 2021, with resorts and accommodation showing strong growth of 25.5% from 2019 with spend from those aged 50 to 64 up 40.5%, compared with a 13.1% decline among 16 to 24-year-olds. One in five (20%) people say they’ve already made plans to go on a staycation in the weeks following 21 June, when all restrictions in the UK are planned to end, and 18% intend to go on more holidays in the UK, even after international travel restrictions have been lifted. Meanwhile, the move to open indoors dining and drinking on 17 May saw bars and pubs enjoy respective declines of 53.2% and 19.4% for May overall, these were marked improvements on the 74.4% and 67.2% contractions in April. In fact, spending on bars and pubs saw a 1.4% growth among 16 to 24-year-olds, as younger consumers returned to socialising at the earliest possible opportunity. Barclaycard head of consumer products Raheel Ahmed said: “It is reassuring to see signs of recovery for the entertainment and hospitality industries, both of which have faced significant challenges over the past year. While international holidays continue to be hampered by restrictions, staycations in the UK are providing a welcome boost to the travel sector, as May saw more holidaymakers, particularly in the older age groups, book or embark on trips.”

CPL Learning launches new development platform: Training company CPL Learning, owned by software firm Access, has launched its new learning and development platform, Campus. Campus offers a “more intuitive and personalised experience” to team members. Jamie Campbell, director of learning – hospitality at CPL Learning, said: “We have developed Campus to deliver a personalised learning experience that empowers learners and puts them in control of their professional development. Campus utilises a variety of learning methods, discoverable content curation and practical tools to motivate, inspire and engage learners.”

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