Westminster City Council will continue to support the hospitality sector across the West End throughout the winter months by allowing low-carbon electric heaters and umbrellas, where appropriate, to enable ongoing al fresco dining.
The current programme of temporary road closures and other measures that were introduced to support outdoor eating and drinking will come to an end at the end of this month. The Council now wants to hear from local communities and businesses about potential new schemes which are winter-appropriate and supported by residents, businesses and emergency services alike.
Alongside the agreed permitting of umbrellas and low-carbon electric heaters for outdoor spaces, the Council is also looking at ensuring there is space for patrons, residents and visitors with potential new schemes and is calling for proposals to be brought forward. This could be facilitated through partial parking suspensions, widened pavements and barriers in some streets. Businesses that benefit will be asked to contribute towards the costs.
The Council is also calling for ideas to come forward to identify other local schemes that could benefit specific locations at certain times throughout the year. This could include supporting events such as Christmas fairs or other seasonal events.
Cllr Rachael Robathan, Leader of Westminster City Council, said:
“Residents keep telling me how important it is to support businesses in their area. We are working closely with our residents and businesses to find ways to continue our support to the local economy in these difficult and uncertain times.
"We want to help our wonderful restaurants, bars, pubs and cafés to continue to provide a safe and enjoyable service. We realise that as the weather turns colder, heaters and umbrellas may help businesses to successfully operate whilst ensuring that they remain fully compliant with the latest public health advice.”