UKH presses for pavement licences to be permanent

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

UKH has called for the Government to make pavement licenses permanent: the temporary scheme is due to end in September (Credit: Getty/ djiledesign)
UKH has called for the Government to make pavement licenses permanent: the temporary scheme is due to end in September (Credit: Getty/ djiledesign)

Related tags ukhospitality Legislation Coronavirus

UKHospitality (UKH) has called for the Government to make pavement licenses permanent in order for the sector to make a faster post-pandemic recovery.

According to the trade body, outdoor dining and drinking areas ensured survival for some hospitality businesses when restrictions prohibited serving customers indoors, and have become hugely popular over the past years, due to the Covid pandemic.

The temporary scheme was first introduced in April 2021 but is due to end this coming September, however, UKH has called on the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to make the licenses a permanent fixture.

Positive success story 

UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Pavement licences have been a really positive success story, and in many cases have enabled businesses to remain open, when otherwise they would have had to close or restrict their opening hours, threatening thousands of jobs.

“As well as businesses, outdoor spaces have also brought benefits to those town and city centres previously without al fresco drinking and dining opportunities, enabling them to begin the process of levelling up, and start to enjoy the sort of outdoor experiences available elsewhere.

“Not only that, but by helping local economies recover, and recover faster, this will undoubtedly contribute to the long-term levelling up of the regions. The fact the scheme has been embraced enthusiastically by a number of local authorities is hugely encouraging in itself.”

The pleas from the trade body noted making the scheme permanent may require changes in terms of cost and administration but called for it to remain easy and cheap enough to use.

Hugely beneficial 

UKH agreed with a proposed £350 cap on application fees and suggested any new fee system should encourage and allow local authorities to offer subsidised, or even free, pavement licences, which some councils have already done with great success for businesses and local areas. 

Nicholls added: “Pavement licences revealed our sector’s ingenuity and creativity, with some truly striking outdoor spaces being created across the UK, from pods to yurts, and significant levels of investment in features such as lighting and heating.

“It’s crucial, therefore, we press for the pavement licence scheme to made permanent, so pubs, bars and restaurants struggling to recover from the pandemic can get back on their feet much quicker.

“This has the potential to be a hugely beneficial, low-cost, low admin scheme, and a welcome boost for an industry facing rising costs across the board, including VAT, business rates, rents, staffing and raw goods.”

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