Free alfresco licences and grants on offer as council bids to revive Crewe town centre trade

  Posted: 07.04.21 at 16:57 by The Editor

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ALFRESCO pavement licences are to be made free and grants dished out to help Crewe businesses reopen safely next Monday.

All non-essential retail, as well as restaurants, bars and cafes for outdoor table service and hair and nail salons, libraries, and gyms, can throw open their doors again on April 12 under the government's roadmap out of lockdown.

And to support businesses to welcome back customers safely, Cheshire East Council is working with town and parish councils to utilise a stream of European Regional Development Funding (ERDF), through the ‘Welcome Back Fund’.

The funding will be used to support activities and initiatives that help local businesses to prepare to reopen, including support for hospitality businesses by making temporary pavement licences free to apply for.

The licences, also known as ‘alfresco licences’, are valid until September 2022 and grant permission to set up temporary outside seating to allow for social distancing measures.

The council is also developing a number of Town Centre Vitality Plans and is urging businesses to access the support available to them.

Frank Jordan, Cheshire East Council's executive director for place.

An information campaign, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, is to be used to inform people of the Covid-19 measures in place to protect them and the precautions they need to take to aid the safe reopening of the borough’s 11 town centres.

Frank Jordan, Cheshire East Council’s executive director for place, said: “The aim is to create exciting and vibrant places that increase footfall and activity. This builds on existing plans and projects we have been delivering across the borough.

“We look forward to our town centres and high streets reopening but this must be done in a safe way, given the ongoing pandemic.

“Businesses have already been hit hard and are now having to adapt to what is a very different business landscape, while complying with a number of Covid-safe measures.

“The council’s regulatory services team is continuing to offer guidance and support to businesses regarding the current restrictions put in place by government."

The government’s Restart Grant has already paid out more than £134m in grants to Cheshire East businesses to help boost their recovery, and the council says more businesses should apply for its help with one-off grants of up to £18,000 available to help them reopen safely.

The council is also awaiting further details from government on an extra allocation of funding for the Additional Restrictions Grant to allow it to open another round of applications. A further announcement will be made soon.

For details of the Restart Grant and how to apply go here.

For information about pavement licences see here.

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