Southside BID and Birmingham City Council work together to support Covid-19 recovery
Proposals to close a key road in Birmingham to create a temporary alfresco dining and drinking area have moved forward following a positive meeting between Southside BID and Birmingham City Council.
On Friday (7 August), representatives of the two organisations met to discuss the challenges of closing Hurst Street to allow hospitality businesses to maximise the space with additional tables and chairs to accommodate customers.
The scheme will be delivered to include a Covid-19 risk assessment and other safety precautions including access for emergency vehicles as it involves a road closure.
Julia Robinson, Manager at Southside BID said: “We met with senior members at Birmingham City Council on Friday to try and overcome some of the barriers in place and we look forward to their timely support in ensuring that the proposed street closure and outside seating area for our bars and restaurants can go ahead. We hope to be able to share more positive news soon.”
At the end of July, Birmingham City Council launched the Government’s fast track Temporary Pavement Licence which would allow businesses to request the use of the public highway outside of their premises for eating and drinking.
Unlike the usual application process, which included a 28-day consultation period, the fast track applications would be determined within a maximum 14 days and would be capped at £100 for all table numbers. Previously, businesses would have had to pay £856 for up to five tables or £1,255 for five tables or more.
Once granted, the Temporary Pavement Licence will be valid for 12 months, up to September 2021.
Cllr Waseem Zaffar, Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and the Environment, said: “As a council we are committed to helping our businesses to recover from the impact of Covid-19 and that involves being flexible and understanding to the needs of businesses in order to best support them. In this instance, we listened to the challenges Southside businesses were facing and worked together to find a solution to protect and promote the area’s reputation as a social hub and hotspot for nightlife.
“We look forward to continuing to work closely with Southside BID - and other businesses across the city – as part of our ongoing commitment to support the city on its journey to economic recovery.”
For more information about Temporary Pavement Licences visit www.birmingham.gov.uk