What lease arrangements are required for Community Diagnostic Centres?

In our recent webinar, Community Diagnostics on Your High Street, Ashleigh Boreham, Dorset CCG, and Jaime Bishop, co-founder of Fleet Architects and co-chair of Architects for Health, explored the new Community Diagnostic Centre in the shopping centre in Poole.

In this section, Jaime and Ashleigh discuss cost implications and the importance of Community Diagnostic Centres securing a long lease arrangement.

If everyone is expected to believe that this is such a good thing, why isn’t it happening? What are the impediments to it happening? What about the commercial arrangement, the lease and how this relates to the cost? 

Ashleigh: “This particular one, because it was built at pace, is using a a licence to occupy arrangement. But we are working on new ones with a longer lease. It is really important to engage with the landlord; part of that stakeholder arrangement is understanding who the landlords are, the early engagement, and them understanding how you can help them.”

Ashleigh explains that it is important to remember that while empty department stores present an opportunity for healthcare, they are a concern to landlords who want the space utilising as quickly as possible.

“There is money being wasted by not being invested and there are rates being lost. So you come as an anchor institution as a new person that is going to provide support – you are going to be there a long time.

“You need the long lease as the value for money is better for the longer leases – so when we are talking about the new projects we are talking about 30, 40, 50 years; you need to talk in the same kind of lease arrangements that these landlords talk with the big department stores. There are lot of department stores that had long leases that still  needed to be negotiated back with the landlord.”

Why is a long lease better for a community diagnostic centre? 

A long lease is required because it gives the best value for money, but it is important to understand the landlord and their role within this.

“A short lease does not add up,” explains Ashleigh. “But we are not in the short game, we are re-creating something which is going to be there for the future and future-proofed.”

Explaining the role of the landlord, Ashleigh says: “They understand the importance of footfall. The anchor institution is so powerful in negotiating your rages, the arrangement.

“Don’t undermine the powerful tool and leverage you have as the NHS to get a good deal to support the value for money for the tax payer.”

To watch Ashleigh’s full explanation the benefits of the long lease, you can watch the webinar clip here.

If you have any questions or would like any further information about this topic please contact us and we will be happy to provide further guidance.


Images copyright: University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust.

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