Outdoor dining could be launched in Weston town centre by end of month

PUBLISHED: 06:55 15 July 2020

The Italian Gardens could be used as an outdoor trading space. Picture: Mark Atherton

The Italian Gardens could be used as an outdoor trading space. Picture: Mark Atherton

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Outdoor dining could be implemented in Weston to help the food and drink sector recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

As pubs, cafés and restaurants start to reopen, and as the economy begins to ease out of lockdown, plans to introduce al fresco dining have been announced.

A new outdoor eating area, which is expected to open at the end of this month, will be situated in the Italian Gardens.

MORE: Al fresco shopping and dining areas to be set up in Weston town centre.

Banksy’s Pinwheel, created for Dismaland in 2015, is also set to be installed in the Italian Gardens after sitting in storage for five years in another boost for the area.

The Italian Gardens has previously hosted Eat Weston food festival. Picture: Nick Page HaymanThe Italian Gardens has previously hosted Eat Weston food festival. Picture: Nick Page Hayman

Some parking spaces have already been removed and pavements widened in the town centre to create space for social distancing when people are queuing to get into businesses.

Mark Canniford, North Somerset Council’s executive member for business, economy and employment, said: “Town centres have been hit incredibly hard during this pandemic. We now have an opportunity to support the reopening of these businesses and encourage people back to the high street.

“These spaces will enable people to sit comfortably while enjoying food and drink from nearby businesses and provide a social space to meet up and reconnect post-lockdown in a safe environment.

“We will be working with a nationally-recognised company to provide a quality offering and they will be managed and cleaned on a regular basis by the council.”

Outdoor seating is just one of the measures the council is designing to support businesses in adapting to the new trading environment caused by coronavirus.

The Government is introducing a programme where businesses can install additional outside seating for a nominal fee through a fast-track route, to allow effective social distancing and encourage footfall back to town centres, which will also be adapted in Portishead, Nailsea and Clevedon.

Businesses can apply through the council’s licensing team for the fast-track option and it is hoped the scheme will be available to other sectors in the coming months.

Measures to create safe shopping spaces have included cordoning off parking spaces to allow effective social distancing with barriers that will be used temporarily during the pandemic.


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