Connect Derby continues to help business during pandemic

Published: 26 January 2021

Friar Gate Studios

Friar Gate Studios is one of Connect Derby's managed workspaces.

Connect Derby, the city’s primary managed workspace provider, has been supporting Derby City Council’s efforts to help local businesses affected by the recent Tier 3 restrictions and now the latest national lockdown by deploying some of its staff to help where it is needed most.

The Connect Derby team has been supporting those Derby City Council teams and services that have been most severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the November lockdown, four managers were redeployed to the Council’s economic growth team to help them manage and distribute the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG).

In addition, Connect Derby’s customer support team has offered its support to the city council’s corporate Health & Safety department, following a significant demand during the pandemic. Work will include a range of admin duties, ranging from the booking of audits to checking the Health & Safety team’s digital presence on the council’s new website.

Due to the pandemic, the city council’s adult social care team currently has reduced admin support so Connect Derby has put forward two members of staff to help with back of house admin duties.

This comes at a time when Connect Derby has also taken on temporary management of Derby’s Market Hall, during a period of considerable disruption, which has included the Covid-19 pandemic and the wider transformation project that is currently underway.

Connect Derby specialises in managing multi tenanted buildings where tenants operate and deliver commercial services. Three members of Ann’s team have currently been deployed to assist Market Hall traders.

At the same time, Ann and her team have been running their seven managed workspaces and supporting tenants as they navigate their way through the current crisis and the changes it has brought to the way we do business.

Throughout the pandemic, the management team has gone the extra mile to offer help and support – communicating with tenants about the financial support available to them, addressing their queries and helping them to stay open for business, then making each building Covid secure so that tenants and visitors could return to their buildings with confidence.

Commenting on the support given to colleagues at Derby City Council, Ann Bhatti, said:

We’re happy to have been able to offer support to various teams at the city council at a time when they’re under significant pressure because of the impact of Covid-19 and the latest lockdown restrictions.

We support the council’s values and are committed to working together to make a positive difference to the city. We’re always looking for opportunities to collaborate and are pleased we could utilise our existing skills to immerse ourselves into the Derby City Council team and take on any activities that needed completing as a matter of urgency.

We’ll continue to help our colleagues at Derby City Council as they continue to offer their support and services to the people and businesses of Derby.

Councillor Mick Barker, Cabinet Member for Governance and Licensing, added: 

Every council department is facing challenging times at the moment and it is heartening to see the willingness that Ann Bhatti and her staff in the Connect Derby team have shown to support their colleagues in other departments. 

The help and support they are giving to Council colleagues and traders in the Market Hall is very much appreciated by us all at Derby City Council.

Connect Derby brings together Derby City Council’s workspaces under one banner to create jobs for local people. It provides micro businesses, entrepreneurs and SMEs with the high specification working environment, IT infrastructure and business support they need to improve business survival rates and act as a catalyst for expansion and growth.

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