Bars, cafés and restaurants in the borough can now apply for Pavement Licences to help them to operate outdoors in ways that support safe social distancing.
It follows changes to national regulations late last week and this licence would allow these premises to put tables and chairs on the pavement adjacent to their business.
The scheme aims to help those businesses where indoor capacity is limited to meet safe social distancing requirements, to increase their trading space with outdoor seating areas for customers.
Any business interested can apply now and the council is required to determine valid applications within 7 days following a short public consultation.
Cllr Richard Overton, cabinet lead for licensing, said: “It’s now more important than ever to shop local and support our high streets. We are delighted to be able to offer this as these licences give a real opportunity for businesses whose capacity is limited by the need to meet social distancing requirements and providing they can operate in a safe manner
“In addition our work to create a safe and welcoming environment in our town centres, more pavement seating for bars, cafes and restaurants could also help provide a very different feel to our high streets and make these even more attractive places for people to visit with businesses operating safely.
“We’ve made the application process as simple as possible so that businesses can make the most of this opportunity. To support local businesses the Council has reduced the licence fee to £25 for anyone applying before 31 August.”
The Council is already contacting those businesses who had previously expressed an interest in the scheme.
Any business wanting more information on the application process should contact firstname.lastname@example.org