Pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants in the Square Mile will be able to continue offering ‘al fresco’ dining into next summer, after the City of London Corporation agreed to extend pavement licences to hospitality businesses, up to September 2024.
The local authority said it acknowledges how hard the hospitality sector was “hit by the pandemic.”
There are currently 176 live licences, all of which are expected to reapply using the extended provisions, the City of London Corporation said.
In July 2020, the government introduced a temporary pavement licence scheme to support the hospitality sector in its recovery from the effects of the pandemic.
The licences, which allow businesses to trade outside, were eased during the pandemic as dining out became a necessary and popular feature for customers and hospitality owners.
The City of London Corporation has since opted to extend the scheme, year on year.
James Tumbridge, chairman of the City Corporation’s licensing committee, said: “As footfall continues to rise post-pandemic, ‘al fresco’ dining has made a fantastic contribution to the buzz in the City as visitors, workers and residents enjoy the numerous dining options we have to offer.
“Our vision for the Square Mile’s vibrant offer is to maintain this liveliness. We want to ensure our premises can where it is appropriate make use of the outdoors. Extending these licences is just one of the many ways we are supporting business.”