Square Mile pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants will be able to continue offering ‘al fresco’ dining into next summer, after the City of London Corporation agreed to extend pavement licences to hospitality businesses, up to September 2024.
The City Corporation acknowledges how hard the hospitality sector was hit by the pandemic, and recognises the importance of supporting those businesses that play a key role in promoting a vibrant social offering in the City, boosting the economy as major employers, and attracting tourism to the City.
The policy has proved popular with Square Mile businesses and there are currently 176 live licences, all of which are expected to reapply using the extended provisions.
In July 2020, the Government introduced a temporary pavement licence scheme to support the hospitality sector in its recovery from the effects of the pandemic.
The initiative meant firms could use a fast-track process to obtain permission, in the form of a pavement licence, to place furniture such as tables and chairs on the street adjacent to their premises.
The City Corporation has since opted to extend the scheme, year on year.
Chairman of the City Corporation’s Licensing Committee, James Tumbridge, said, “As footfall continues to rise post-pandemic, ‘al fresco’ dining has made a fantastic contribution to the buzz in the City as visitors, workers and residents enjoy the numerous dining options we have to offer.
“Our vision for the Square Mile’s vibrant offer is to maintain this liveliness. We want to ensure our premises can where it is appropriate make use of the outdoors. Extending these licences is just one of the many ways we are supporting business.”
Chairman of the City Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee, Shravan Joshi, said, “Licenses for outdoor dining has been a tremendously beneficial policy for the Square Mile and it’s great to see that workers, visitors and residents will be able to continue dining ‘al fresco’ here, especially in this hot weather.
“The policy will help the hospitality sector thrive, but also enhance our public spaces in line with the ‘Destination City’ policy to make the Square Mile a desirable, inclusive, seven-day-a-week visitor destination for all to enjoy.”