Leicester City Council offers outdoor seating grants to support local businesses

by Abigail Beresford

Leicester City Council has created outdoor seating grants to help local hospitality businesses.

Restaurants and cafes in Leicester are able to apply for grants of up to £4,000 to use to buy outdoor furniture to allow customers to visit.

With pubs, restaurants and cafés only able to offer outdoor service until at least May 17, the council hopes to get more local businesses open and provide support for them.

Non-essential shops and restaurants reopened earlier this month (APR12), as lockdown measures begin to ease nationally.

To be eligible for the grant, the businesses must be:

  • Hospitality businesses which pay business rates to Leicester City Council or receive small business rates relief
  • Defined by the Companies Act as a micro or small business, so not chains or multinational groups
  • Providing an established table service food offer; and
  • Holders of an approved street café licence or applying for a new temporary licence.

The grant scheme is already proving to be in popular demand, with nearly £150,000 already given out to 72 businesses.

“Hospitality businesses have had such a tough time and deserve our support, especially smaller, local businesses,” said Councillor Kirk Master, Assistant City Mayor for neighbourhoods, in a statement.

“We hope these grants will provide an important first step towards getting our local economy back on track.”

Cafes and restaurants had been closed for almost four months, after the country entered its third national lockdown in January 2021. 

However, thousands of local businesses are at risk of closing down due to struggles consequent to the pandemic.

People are being encouraged to shop more locally to show support to their local businesses.

Due to popular demand, businesses are being encouraged to apply as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

For more information and to apply for the grant visit www.leicester.gov.uk/streetcafegrants.

A local cafe in Leicester City Centre with outdoor seating

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