A pilot scheme to help restaurants provide outdoor eating and drinking has been launched in England as part of the Liverpool Without Walls project to re-imagine the city under social distancing rules.
The project, which is being coordinated by Liverpool City Council, Liverpool BID Company, and Liverpool Chamber of Commerce includes road closures, pop-up parks, a business grant scheme, and free trading permits for businesses.
The scheme is aimed at giving businesses in Liverpool the best chance of being ready to trade as soon as restrictions on hospitality businesses trading are lifted by the government and will provide support to help cafes and restaurants trade outside.
The scheme includes closing popular restaurant destination Bold Street to traffic across the summer and the introduction of street furniture and parklets, which will turn existing parking bays into dining areas. If successful, this model could be rolled out to other streets across the city.
In addition, all independent restaurants in the city will be able to apply for a grant to help them purchase furniture that will allow them to trade outside. Grants are only for independent and SMBs that pay business rates to Liverpool City Council and hold an existing street café licence or a free temporary street café licence.
Funding for the scheme was announced last month by Mayor Joe Anderson who directed £450,000 of funds to allow the program to be developed. Liverpool City Council has so far distributed more than £90m of central government funding to over 7,300 small businesses.