With bars and restaurants still struggling with the COVID-19 crisis Sefton Council is looking to offer extra pavement space to help with social distancing. Tony McDonough reports
Sefton Council has secured extra funding to allow bars and restaurants to open while minimising the risk of the spread of COVID-19.
As part of the drive the council is looking to extend the pavement areas outside local businesses, especially where the pavement area is limited, by using he parking bays. Coronation Walk and Union Street in Southport will be the main focus.
Sefton has already implemented the road closure on Court Road from The Grand Casino to Union Street, helping businesses in this area increase their trading and to add life and character back into the local area.
The area will also be enhanced with planters which have been designed, built and installed by the Southport Flower Show to create an attractive area for customers to use.
Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills said: “We understand how all businesses have been impacted by Covid-19, none more than the hospitality sector.
“We have been working with businesses over the last few weeks to ensure they could open safely while we all play a part in keeping residents and visitors safe. These new initiatives will help us achieve this and at the same time help these independent businesses trade successfully over the next few weeks.
“A lot of the infrastructure being used has been designed and made by The Southport Flower Show again showing how we can and will support local businesses. We do hope these initiatives are a great success and we will continue to look at other areas.”
Lisa Mendi, owner of Bistro Bar Med and Medhito Cuban Latin lounge on Coronation Walk, added: “We are so happy to be able to now offer our customers outside seating. All our lovely customers, old and new, will now be able to enjoy their Tapas from Bistro Bar Med sat outside whilst sipping sangria.”
The council have also adopted a new temporary pavement licence process, a streamlined consent route to allow businesses to obtain a licence to place temporary furniture, such as tables and chairs, outside cafes, bars and restaurants quickly.