It has been reported that the Duke of Westminster's property company has set up a fund to take stakes in retailers and restaurant operators (with around 500 such independent businesses in Mayfair and Belgravia, there may be fierce competition for such investment).

We have seen many landlords invest indirectly in their tenants during the current Covid-19 crisis by offering them rent-free periods or sizeable rent reductions. But this is the first time that a significant English landlord has sought to invest directly in retail and restaurant operators.  James Raynor, chief executive of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, said: ".. we're rewriting what it means to be a landlord - seeking to create partnerships where each is genuinely invested in the others' success."

Other landlords inspired by such an idea should first take commercial, property and tax advice, because the implications of being an active partner in a restaurant business are very different from those of being a passive landlord, especially for institutional landlords like pension funds.