The City of London’s hospitality sector is set to be boosted with free ‘al fresco’ dining licences.
Square Mile pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants are gearing up for a summer of ‘al fresco’ dining, after the City of London Corporation agreed to offer free pavement licences to hospitality businesses.
The organisation’s Planning and Transportation Committee voted to extend its Al Fresco Eating and Drinking Policy, meaning businesses can apply free of charge for a licence to seat customers outside until September 2023.
The policy has proved popular with Square Mile establishments and there are currently 142 live licences, all of which are expected to reapply.
By streamlining the application process, the City Corporation is aiming to boost the hospitality industry.
The move compliments the authority’s £2.5million annual investment in its Destination City campaign, designed to further drive the recovery from the pandemic.
Chairman of the City Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee, Shravan Joshi, said: “Offering free licenses for outdoor dining has been a transformational policy in the Square Mile.
“It’s great to see workers, visitors and residents dining ‘al fresco’ enjoying the vibrant atmosphere, akin to the continental experience, especially in this hot weather.
“Our streets must remain safe and accessible for all, so measures are in place to ensure we meet the needs of people with disabilities and avoid overcrowding.”