Call goes out for vacant buildings and car parks to help NHS tackle coronavirus crisis

March 25, 2020

Bristol’s property industry is being urged to make unoccupied or vacant buildings and car parks available for use by the NHS as it leads the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

The highest demand is for car parking spaces, overnight beds and storage facilities within a 15-minute walk of an NHS or private hospital. 

Global real estate advisor CBRE’s Bristol office is working with the health service to identify real estate assets for immediate use as the NHS prepares for the busiest and most challenging period in its history.

the rapid spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) experts predict that pressure on the NHS will reach a critical point within the next few weeks – leading to an unprecedented need for additional space and resources.

CBRE executive director, healthcare transactions, Tom Morgan, who is heading the working group coordinating the efforts, said: “We are asking our network of real estate professionals and the property industry more widely to pull together in supporting NHS workers, by identifying to us any suitable unoccupied properties or parking spaces which can help hospital staff in the brilliant work they are doing.

“Our Global Workplace Solutions (GWS) business continues to work with the NHS for ongoing maintenance activities and we would like to recognise these teams too for their critical efforts at this time.”

A number of city centre car parks close to the Bristol Royal Infirmary and other University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust buildings are now free for key NHS staff, including Bristol City Council’s Trenchard Street car park, pictured.

Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees said: “At a time when our NHS staff are on the front line in the fight against the spread of the Covid-19 virus, we want to ensure those key staff that need to get to work in the city are able to with the minimum of disruption.

“The official social distancing advice remains that people should work from home whenever possible, but we understand that there are key staff in our hospitals that are required to work and we hope that measures like making the Trenchard Street car park available to them free of charge can help make it easier for them to get to work.

“We also thank those managing other private car parks in the city, such as The Galleries and Cabot Circus, who are also offering this service, which will help out NHS staff to avoid using public transport where they can.’’

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