Pavement licences to be permanent for UK on-tradeBy Georgie Pursey
The temporary licences granted during the Covid-19 pandemic allowing pubs, bars and restaurants to serve guests on pavements are to be made permanent.
The new legislation, which is to be announced today (10 May) in the Queen’s speech to mark the state opening of parliament, will allow for hospitality businesses to continue serving food and drink on the pavements adjacent to their venues.
“To support vibrant high streets and communities thrive, pavement licensing red-tape will be permanently scrapped, freeing up businesses to serve food al fresco and attract diners all year round,” commented UK prime minister Boris Johnson on Saturday 7 May, in a release published to the government website.
“During the pandemic, restaurants, pubs and bars were granted temporary powers to serve guests on pavements, helping to mitigate lost floorspace for tables due to social distancing requirements. Through new legislation, these powers will be made permanent to expand capacity for businesses to boost local economies and inject life into local communities.”
The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill follows publication of the government’s flagship Levelling Up White Paper, which set out plans to transform the UK by spreading opportunity and prosperity to all parts of it.
The UK Government is also providing £1.7 billion (US$2.1bn) of temporary business rates relief in 2022-23 for up to 400,000 retail, hospitality and leisure properties to support the high street.
UK Hospitality and the CGA Quarterly Tracker estimated in April 2022 that the hospitality industry suffered losses in the region of £115bn (US$141bn) over the two years since the pandemic started.