Government set to make pavement licences permanent

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Government set to make pavement licences permanent in Levelling up and Regeneration Bill Queen's Speech al fresco dining

Related tags: Al fresco, pavement licences, Government, Legislation

The Government is to make pavement licences permanent under legislation set to the be announced in tomorrow's (10 May) Queen's Speech.

The new rules, which will form part of the the Levelling up and Regeneration Bill, will give hospitality businesses the opportunity to offer al fresco drinking and dining all year round.

“This is fantastic news for our sector and will be a welcome boost for pubs across the country ahead of the summer months,” says Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

“The past two years have been the toughest on memory for many pubs and whilst some created and refurbished outdoor spaces to host customers whilst restrictions were in place, others simply did not have the option to do so.

“Permanent pavement licenses will give many businesses the opportunity to bring a new offering to customers and create a continental culture that will hopefully bring Britain’s high streets to life and help them thrive again.”

According to The Telegraph​, pubs are also expected to be granted an extension to off-licences that allow them to sell takeaway pints and meals.

Temporary pavement licenses were introduced during the Covid pandemic to enable restaurants, cafes and bars to stay open safely and boost the hospitality industry.

The scheme was based on fast-track applications and reduced fees of £100 for the licences to support hospitality businesses hit by the crisis.

Back in March, trade body UKHospitality called on the Government to make pavement licences permanent​, saying it would help Covid-ravaged businesses make a faster post-pandemic recovery.

Speaking at the time, UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Pavement licences have been a really positive success story, and in many cases have enabled businesses to remain open, when otherwise they would have had to close or restrict their opening hours, threatening thousands of jobs.

“As well as businesses, outdoor spaces have also brought benefits to those town and city centres previously without al fresco drinking and dining opportunities, enabling them to begin the process of levelling up, and start to enjoy the sort of outdoor experiences available elsewhere.

“Not only that, but by helping local economies recover – and recover faster – this will undoubtedly contribute to the long-term levelling up of the regions. The fact that the scheme has been embraced enthusiastically by a number of local authorities is hugely encouraging in itself.”

Related topics: Business & Legislation

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