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Pavement licences for UK cafés to be made permanent in 2023

Coffee shops across the UK will be able to offer customers extended outdoor seating under new government legislation that is seeking to make al fresco dining a permanent fixture on British high streets

Approximately one third of cafés, pubs, restaurants and bars have outside space to take advantage of the new alfresco dining laws | Photo credit: Silke Wöhrmann

 

The UK government has announced temporary changes brought in during the pandemic to make it easier for coffee shops to serve food and beverages on pavements and pedestrianised roads have been extended.  
 

The extension, granted by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, will continue until the changes are made permanent in the spring 2023. The changes were previously set to expire in September. 


Approximately one third of cafés, pubs, restaurants and bars have outside space to take advantage of the new alfresco dining laws. 


Nearly 60% of UK coffee shop consumers surveyed by World Coffee Portal in early 2022 cited expanded outdoor seating as a measure introduced during the pandemic that they’d like to see implemented in the longer term.  


“Vital in enabling businesses to trade during the pandemic when they might otherwise have been forced to close or restrict their opening hours, these licences can now benefit town and city centres by helping local economies recover faster, contributing to levelling up,” said Kate Nicholls, CEO, UKHospitality. 


“Pavement licences also highlighted the hospitality industry’s ingenuity and creativity during Covid, as many venues invested heavily to develop fun, innovative outdoor spaces. Those farsighted businesses can now look forward to maximising the return on those investments,” she added. 


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