Al fresco dining for towns to launch this weekend

Portishead Precinct, resurfacing work finished. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Portishead Precinct, resurfacing work finished. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

High Street locations in towns will be transformed into continental-style dining as an outdoor seating scheme launches this weekend.

Queens Square, Clevedon.

Queens Square, Clevedon. - Credit: Archant

As part of North Somerset Council’s reopening plan, the outdoor seating scheme will offer public seating to support businesses, with free tables and chairs, spread out across different areas.

The al fresco dining areas will be complemented by a cultural programme of events, which will follow later in the summer.

The outdoor eating areas include Queen’s Square in Clevedon which open tomorrow (Friday) and Portishead Precinct on Monday.

Cllr Mark Canniford, the council’s executive member for business, economy and employment, said: “The hospitality sector is vital to Weston’s economy and they, with our many other attractions, are the reason people come to enjoy our wonderful town.

“These are challenging times for restaurants and cafés.

“The new eating and drinking areas will support local businesses and offer safe, quality, socially distanced eating and drinking spaces with a more continental feel.”

The council has also put in place measures to create safe shopping spaces for owners and customers to allow retail businesses to safely welcome customers back within the new distancing rules.

Most Read

Changes have included cordoning off parking spaces to allow effective social distancing with barriers that will be used temporarily during the pandemic.

Tables and chairs will be provided and will be cleared away and stored every night.

The project will run until mid-October. Seating will be provided weekly on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am–9pm.

The outdoor seating areas will not be designed for table service from food and drink outlets, however people can eat and drink takeaway food, have a business meeting or appointment or meet with friends.

Staff will provide oversight on each site by making sure tables and chairs are not moved or damaged.

They will also be responsible for cleaning the tables and chairs to ensure compliance with Government coronavirus guidelines.

The staff members will be linked to council community safety officers where available and will provide regular reports enabling the project team to make changes to the spaces as needed.

Opening times will be kept in review after concerns were raised about opening past 6pm.