St John's Square is Blackpool's new outdoor dining hub
A new outdoor dining area has been created in St John’s Square in Blackpool to help the resort’s hospitality businesses bounce back from Covid.
Customers will be able to order food and drinks from any of the surrounding cafes and restaurants and be served at their table.
The scheme is a joint initative between the council and the Blackpool Town Centre BID (business improvement district), and is being funded through the council’s £223,000 grant from the government’s Welcome Back Fund.
Funding will also be used to pressure wash town centre streets which are within the BID area.
The idea of an al fresco dining area came from Blackpool BID board member Mike Simmons.
He said: “It is intended to assist those businesses that have been closed during the pandemic, with the aim to maximise their dining areas with increased seating, therefore increased sales.
“It will also provide more ‘green space’ and gives a better sense of purpose to St John’s square.
“The size of the dining area will be flexible depending on social distancing guidelines at the time and if St John’s Church is hosting an event.
“The businesses already established in the square will benefit from this al fresco area and it will operate in a way where customers place the order at the cafe or restaurant of choice and then this is served to them. ”
Michael Williams, chairman of the Blackpool BID, said the new dining area and the pressure washing of streets would help draw more people into the town centre.
He said: “The works will be undertaken by a local contractor and disruption will be minimised.
“Town centres are at the heart of our communities and the funding will allow us to improve civic pride and encourage more visitors and locals to shop, dine and stay in Blackpool town centre. “
The Welcome Back Fund was announced in March this year, with £56m allocated nationally for schemes to entice people back to town centres following the easing of lockdown restrictions.
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