Road closures, pop up parks, architecturally designed furniture, a business grant scheme and free trading permits are all part of a new pilot package of support for the hospitality sector in Liverpool.
Part of the ongoing ‘Liverpool Without Walls’ project to re-imagine the city under social distancing, a joint project between Liverpool City Council, Liverpool BID Company – which supports 1,500 city centre businesses, and Liverpool Chamber of Commerce is being announced today.
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. Liverpool Without Walls is designed to provide support to help cafes and restaurants trade outside, a range of support is being deployed across the city.
→ Bold Street will be closed to traffic across the summer and be the pilot for a new scheme of street furniture and ‘parklets’. Designed by internationally acclaimed urban architects Arup, these new seating and park areas will take over existing parking bays to transform the look of the street and, if successful, could be rolled out to other streets across the city.
→ Castle Street will also be closed to traffic to maximise the space available for restaurants to spill out onto the streets. Consultation is taking place with businesses and transport providers to work out the most appropriate timing for closures.
→ All independent restaurants in the city can now apply for a grant of up to £4,000 for them to purchase furniture which will allow them to trade outside, with the level of grant depending on the number of additional seats each restaurant can create. There is a limit to this fund and restaurants are urged to take the time to see if they are eligible for the support.
→ The fee for a new street café licence – around £600 – is being waived for all new applications to ensure businesses don’t have extra costs as they aim to get back on their feet.
→ The furniture installation on Bold Street will be taking place throughout early July with the rollout of additional seating expected
Deputy Mayor and Cabinet member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said:“This is a phased approach to the reopening of the hospitality sector and these changes will be made gradually as we work with businesses on what they need, and how we can support them in line with the latest government safety guidance.
“It is so good that we are starting to see positive steps forward for a sector that has been so hard hit by the crisis. We are always thinking of different ways we can use our city centre and neighbourhood high streets and it could be that these changes are in place for the long term, so we need to get it right.
“The furniture designs look great and it is so exciting that in this moment of crisis, we are looking to make our city centre a better environment than it was before.”