Liverpool seeks to create European-style outdoor spaces to help hospitality sector
A £450,000 fund has been made available to help hospitality sector firms utilise ‘continental European-style’ spaces to reopen their businesses.
Business owners are working with city mayor Joe Anderson to redesign outdoor spaces and create covered seating areas in areas such as the city’s main Castle Street thoroughfare to replace indoor facilities which are too difficult to convert due to social distancing measures.
It is believed to be one of the first schemes of its kind in the country and is being backed by the city’s chamber of commerce and the Liverpool BID (Business Improvement District) Company.
Funding from the scheme is separate to, but will be used in conjunction with, a £443,000 Government package from the ‘Reopening High Streets Safely Fund’.
Liverpool BID Company chief executive, Bill Addy, said: “One of the huge attractions of Liverpool as a destination is the wide range of home-grown hospitality businesses that have grown up as the city has expanded over the last two decades.
“Liverpool is a city where business can thrive and we need to continue to be a place that not just champions its successful independents but allows their ecosystem to survive and, in future, flourish. The creation of this fund is another great example of partnership working in Liverpool during this crisis.
“It is really important that we continue to support the hospitality sector through a difficult period when, as they have told us, their focus will be very much on staff and stock and they won’t necessarily have the spare cash to spend on items they need to help deal with the consequences of social distancing measures.
“We also need to ensure we adapt the city centre to facilitate trading opportunity and make it welcoming and accessible to everyone.”
Mayor Anderson, said: “Liverpool is the most welcoming city in the UK, and bringing people together is what we do best. Big events, sporting fixtures or just a night out, this city thrives on social interaction.
“The fact that is out of the question with social distancing means we have to be innovative about how we keep our USP, but do so in a responsible way.”
He added: “We need to find a way to give local people confidence that they can continue to go out to eat, spend money in the local economy and have a good time safely.
“This is really important as we know that tourism is going to be badly affected by international travel restrictions.
“Small, independent traders do not have the financial reserves or the borrowing power of big corporate companies, so it is up to us to come together and find ways to give them a helping hand through what is undoubtedly the biggest challenge of my lifetime.
“This is just one element of work we are doing with our partners, and we are looking hard at what we can do to support other sectors that are the big economic drivers for city, and we will be revealing more about this in the near future.
“These are tough times for our city, and we need to stick together and work together to emerge from it stronger and more united than ever.”