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Westminster brings back alfresco scheme

Published:  25 February, 2021

Westminster City Council has announced that it will reintroduce last summer’s alfresco scheme to help the hospitality sector.

The scheme, which saw 60 roads transformed through temporary closures and pavement widening to allow outdoor dining when it ran last year, will start 12 April when outdoor dining and drinking is scheduled to begin again. 

“Hospitality is a major employer in Westminster, supporting about 80,000 jobs. But with shutters down and doors barred, this sector has been among the hardest hit,” said Council leader Rachael Robathan.  

“We are relaunching our alfresco scheme as soon as the easing of restrictions allows us to help struggling businesses as much as we can. We have more pubs, restaurants and bars than any other local authority area — about 3,700 — and we want to see them welcoming back customers in a safe way.”

The majority of residents had supported these schemes in the past, she added. “We hope they will understand the need to continue the temporary measures until the end of September.”

The Council said that it would also consider the possibility of what a longer-term alfresco provision could look like, and would be “consulting communities as and when designs are created and as the city recovers”.

The scheme ran from July until October last year with more than 560 Westminster premises issued with pavement licences that allowed them to put seating outside.