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There’s good news today for the city’s restaurants and for those who feel the chill during the winter months as Liverpool Without Walls gets winter-proofed.
Liverpool BID Company and Liverpool City Council’s project to create outdoor areas for city centre bars and restaurants is moving forward to create a “Winter-proof cafe culture”. Businesses on the pedestrianised areas of Bold Street and Castle Street will be able to add semi-permanent structures and electric heaters to their outdoor seating areas.
The pilot project was launched in July as hospitality venues began to reopen post lockdown. Allowing bars and restaurants to extend their space into the pavement and onto closed roads on Bold Street and Castle Street enabled them to extend their covers while social distancing and mixing regulations remain in place.
A consultation process is still ongoing, led by Liverpool BID Company, to work with businesses along the streets to develop a plan that allows a balance of outdoor hospitality, pedestrianisation in key times and allowing access for deliveries. Initial results of the consultation reveal the popularity among the public of the pedestrianisation of Bold Street and Castle Street. 94% of surveyed people want the pedestrianisation to be permanent.
A business survey is taking place as well among retailers and hospitality to identify any changes, additional animation and support needed during the Winter months.
Welcomed by venues and visitors alike, Liverpool Without Walls has helped to usher in a European style cafe culture since July. Across the summer months, Liverpool city centre’s footfall reached levels comparable with March 2020.
“The first phase of Liverpool Without Walls allowed us to give the hospitality sector, so integral to Liverpool’s Visitor Economy, a much needed boost. Creating practical and safe outdoor spaces that were attractive and have a useful purpose for venues needing more covers, helped to ensure we saw fewer closures.
“As Winter approaches we have to be prepared for whatever the Liverpool weather has in store. Our strategy is to have a European cafe culture that’s prepared for a Northern England climate. Heaters and covers will allow venues to continue to use the pavement and outdoor space, allowing them to operate safely without a loss in covers, whatever the weather.
“It’s important we develop a plan for each area that works for all businesses, retail and hospitality, so that everyone has the opportunity to make their working day as smooth as possible. The consultation is allowing us to get the views we need from everyone affected by the changes”.
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