CRICHTON BRIEFING 2 JUNE UPDATE
3 June 2020
CRICHTON BRIEFING: 2 JUNE UPDATE
Yesterday we held our second Crichton Briefing on Zoom with around 19 participants – thank you to all those who joined us again and to those who joined us for the first time.
Gwilym Gibbons, Chief Executive of The Crichton Trust hosted the session, which is one of many new initiatives set up by The Crichton Trust to help facilitate a collaborative response to Covid-19 at The Crichton.
Gwilym started the meeting talking about the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in and took the opportunity to remind everyone that one of the things that distinguishes The Crichton from other locations, apart from the people, is our outdoor space, and what an asset this continues to be as we adapt to living with the coronavirus for the foreseeable future. For this reason, we are already promoting The Crichton as ‘A place to breathe’ and putting steps in place to carefully manage a phased return to work.
If you missed the meeting key updates included:
- The Crichton Trust is slowly starting to bring back a few members of staff to deal with grounds and property maintenance, which has included some grass cutting, cleaning, signage, risk assessments and the installation of sample steri-loc sanitising units in some of the commercial properties. Some longer areas of grass may be left to grow wild flowers and although we are experiencing higher number of visitors to The Crichton, we are not yet up to a full complement of grounds staff.
- The priority for now is assessing the future of the workplace and while 50% of our business is in commercial property, we are keen to do what we can to support our staff and our tenants as some of them prepare to return to the workplace. We are also hosting separate meetings specifically for tenants to help respond to current needs and to plan for the future. As an example, we have highlighted the need for more outdoor meeting space and so we are in the process of building a sample outdoor classroom/shelter which enables us to make use of the space we have between each of our commercial properties and will help manage small groups of colleagues to work safely from a distance within their workplace ‘bubbles’.
- One of the biggest challenges for The Crichton Trust is the future of hospitality, conferences and events and the uncertainty around when we will be able to host large gatherings. This is a particular challenge given that Easterbrook Hall is designed to host large gatherings, but we are actively looking at ways to re-purpose the space in the medium term and exploring ways of maximising technology to get live performances back on the stage, even if it means having a smaller live audience combined with a virtual audience. We recognise that will not happen in the immediate future.
- The Crichton Central development at Criffel View remains a priority for The Crichton Trust and we hope to commence work there as soon as we are able to do so. The provision of this new co-working space and enhanced cafe facility (currently Fresco Cafe) is an important development for The Crichton when it comes to supporting business and enterprise, offering flexible meeting and office space, hosting small events and connecting people through technology.
- There is also some good news regarding broadband connectivity as The Crichton Trust will soon take control of the fibre network from SSE and The Crichton Trust is promoting The Crichton as a pilot 5G site – these are all important developments if The Crichton is to remain fit for purpose.
Gwilym finished with a Q&A session, which saw meeting guests put forward questions about; the broadband connection, site security, increased service and events costs, safe toilet provision and the status of the Care Campus and Crichton Hall projects. One tenant also requested that The Crichton Trust commits to a collaboration with tenants around the workforce of the future and use of video technology.
These meetings will continue to take place on the first Tuesday of every month at 4pm. All welcome.
A meeting specifically for tenants will also take place on Zoom at 12noon on Monday 8 June. All tenants should have received an invitation to attend.
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