Towngate’s personal assistant, Lucy Rotchell, recently took part in an exclusive Q&A for a local newspaper to start the new year – whilst hopefully looking forward to a more ‘normal’ 2023. Here’s what she said on reflection of 2022 and how she predicts the year ahead will look…
1. After a difficult time for many businesses during the pandemic, what was your primary objective at the start of 2022?
Re-establishing face-to-face contact with our tenants has been one of our main objectives throughout 2022. Towngate has always been renowned for our personal approach, and I think reminding customers that they’re not leasing from a faceless organisation has helped in getting us all back on track during this post-pandemic period.
2. Looking back on 2022, what have been the 3 biggest highlights for Towngate
The biggest highlight has to be Towngate reaching the amazing milestone of 60 years in business in June 2022! We are also currently operating at the highest ever occupancy rate across our portfolio — something we are all incredibly proud of. Finally, it’s been fantastic for the whole team to gather under the same roof again. As a relatively small team, popping our heads around the door and asking a quick question in the moment, is what works best for us.
3. And the most difficult challenge for your business?
The rise in the cost of materials has meant some of our planned refurbishments have taken much longer than expected — or haven’t happened at all yet. Hopefully 2023 will see these settle down and we can start to see some progress over the coming year.
4. If you had to sum up 2022 in one word, which would you use?
Fast-moving! How is it 2023 already?!
5. What’s Towngate’s key goal for 2023?
It may sound cheesy, but to keep on doing what we’re already doing! We’re a great team that works well together.
6. Name another Yorkshire firm that you hope will have an outstanding year in 2023…
Scriba PR, of course!
7. How do you think the regional business climate will fare overall?
Having accompanied our marketing manager on some tenant visits during the year, overall, the feedback has been really positive. Some companies have understandably had to adapt their business model due to materials shortages, while others have diversified, offering alternative services. Although this is by no means a complete cross-sectional study of industry within the region, our findings would indicate that we possess the resourcefulness required to bounce back.
8. It’s perhaps been the first opportunity to celebrate a ‘real’ New Year post-Covid – how was it for you?
After two years of watching my daughter do her performances online, hosting ‘get-togethers’ with friends over Zoom, and not having a work Christmas party, it’s been amazing to do all those things in person once again – long may it continue in to 2023!
9. Describe the typical New Year celebrations at your house, in three words
Fun-filled and memorable, spent with family, friends and plenty of good food!