The Swansea Labour-led council has begun offering grants to help restaurants, bars and cafés re-open safely and serve food outside.
The funding can be used to buy outdoor furniture, allowing hospitality traders to roll out services as government restrictions are gradually eased in the wake of the pandemic.
Grants of up to £8,000 are available, with businesses required to cover 20% of the total spend.
The funding is available through the Welsh Government Transforming Towns initiative.
Existing Welsh Government rules state that customers visiting a hospitality business can only be served food and drink outdoors at tables. Social distancing guidelines apply. The rules are under review and could change.
Labour Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “We want to assist restaurants, bars and cafés to re-open safely.
“These grants for outdoor furniture will help them do that.”
Labour Cllr David Hopkins, cabinet member for delivery and operations – and joint deputy leader, said: “We’ve put in place a swift and fair process that will help our local economy and lifestyles move on from lockdown.
“Throughout all this change, I urge everybody to stay safe, act responsibly, plan ahead, book in advance and take full account of government guidelines – the deadly coronavirus is still with us.”
Swansea BID – the Business Improvement District – is offering businesses advice on furniture such as tables, chairs, large planters, awnings, large umbrellas, café-style barriers and heaters.
Other items being considered include canopies, igloo bubbles, barriers, litter bins, servery facilities and seating areas for public spaces.
Examples of good practice include wooden folding chairs and tables, matched stackable furniture in metal and wicker, commercial-standard parasols with quartz infrared halogen heaters, and decking and seating.
Chief executive of Swansea BID (Business Improvement District), Russell Greenslade, said: “It is great to see this project being delivered as we have been working hard behind the scenes with the council as part of our recovery framework to deliver the programme.
“The use of tables and chairs outside cafe, pub and restaurant premises can bring added life and vitality into the areas streets. They can enrich the pedestrian and visitor experience, presenting an open, inviting atmosphere – and they can enhance business operations.
Businesses considered for grants will be located within the city centre or in a district trading centre such as those in Clydach, Gorseinon, Gowerton, Killay, Morriston, Mumbles, Pontarddulais, Sketty and Uplands. Those in adjacent areas may also qualify.
Grants are available for independent and small to medium-sized enterprises that hold a pavement café licence. Those that don’t yet have a licence can apply to the council which has introduced a fast-track application process.
- For more details and guidance on Swansea’s Premises Outdoor Adaptation Grant please visit this web page – swansea.gov.uk/outdooradaptationgrant
- For advice on furniture please visit this Swansea BID web page – swanseabid.co.uk/coronavirus-business-updates-latest-news/
- To apply for a pavement café licence go to swansea.gov.uk/pavementcafe