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. 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 throughout the summer.
More information, and details of how to apply for furniture and a street café licence, is available at http://www.loveyourliverpool.com. Consultation has taken place with some of the independent traders in the area about the designs and the changes.
Care will also be taken to make sure the changes take account of accessibility and do not adversely impact on, for example, wheelchair users. The funding for the scheme was announced last month by Mayor Joe Anderson who redirected £450,000 of funds to allow the program to be developed.
The council has so far distributed more than £90 million of central government funding to over 7,300 small businesses and those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.