Newcastle hospitality venues to go al fresco when lockdown restriction ease

Grey Street alone has seen its al fresco offers more than double. Credit: PA

More than 100 Newcastle pubs, restaurants, bars, and cafes will be able to use pavement areas when lockdown restrictions are eased next week.

Newcastle City Council has fast-tracked 45 applications for new pavement spots for pubs, restaurants and cafes in an effort to support the economy.

103

businesses can offer al fresco food and drink via pavement licences

Newly-approved locations since the Government announced new powers to make it easier for venues to expand outside last summer include seven venues on Grey Street, which has seen a 140% rise in pavement cafes.

Ed Foster, Newcastle City Council's head of public safety and regulation, said: "We have cut red tape as best we can, making applying for licence variations easier and cheaper, be that to offer things like a takeaway service, create outside pavement-café style seating areas, or change the layout of premises.

Stephen Patterson, of business improvement district company NE1 Ltd, added: "Enabling more of Newcastle city centre to cater for al fresco dining, drinking and other cultural activities will have a transformational effect allowing people to return and to enjoy the city safely whatever the weather.

"More than anything, our businesses are looking forward to opening their doors once again and welcoming customers back."

Most of Newcastle's pavement licences are in the city centre and the Quayside, with only a handful more in areas like Jesmond and Heaton.

The list does include at least one business that will not be reopening after lockdown, Eden in The Gate.

Each of the 45 newly-approved pavement areas is required to be smoke-free and must not use gas-powered heaters.

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