Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin TD and Fáilte Ireland have announced details of a new €17million Scheme for developing outdoor dining capacity nationwide. The Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme comprises two parts and will be delivered in partnership between Fáilte Ireland and Local Authorities across the country. Part One of the Scheme will provide funding for individual tourism and hospitality businesses to develop and increase their own outdoor seating capacity. Funding allocated under Part Two will enable Local Authorities to develop permanent outdoor public dining spaces in towns and urban centres, similar to those that exist in various European cities. The Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport, Gaeltacht and Media, Catherine Martin T.D. is officially launching the Scheme, which opens for initial applications on April 12th2021.
Announcing the Scheme Minister Catherine Martin said: “This Scheme has two main objectives: firstly, to enable individual tourism and hospitality businesses increase their dining and seating capacity in the short-term and secondly to enable a long-term strategy for local authorities to develop appropriate permanent weatherproofed outdoor dining infrastructure. The aim is to support jobs and businesses and to transform appropriate outdoor spaces within our cities and towns as welcoming, vibrant places that will help support economic recovery. This funding announcement further strengthens this Government’s commitment to the development of rural towns, as outlined in the ‘Our Rural Future’ plan announced earlier this week.”
Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland added: “I want to thank Minister Martin for securing this funding and the CCMA for its support with designing and administering it. Part One of the Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme relates to Outdoor Seating and Accessories to help tourism and hospitality businesses offset some of the costs incurred in upgrading premises for outdoor dining and seating. Part Two of the Scheme relates to Weatherproofing and Outdoor Dining Infrastructure which focuses on the development of medium to large scale permanent public dining spaces in towns and centres in preparation for welcoming back visitors when it is safe to do so. Each Local Authority can apply for up to €200,000 under this element of the scheme. We have been working closely with the County and City Management Association (CCMA) on behalf of the Local Authorities to design a scheme that will be efficient and practical. We look forward to seeing the results across the country.”
Moira Murrell, Chair of the CCMA Rural Development, Community, Tourism, Culture and Heritage (RCTCH) Committee stated: “Local Authorities are looking forward to administering this Scheme for individual businesses, as well as delivering year-round all-weather outdoor seating options to boost the appeal and attractiveness of our cities and towns. Following the success of the Street Furniture Grant Scheme, implemented by some Local Authorities in 2020, we look forward to creating outdoor dining experiences around the country that not only benefit locals, but are also attractive to domestic and overseas visitors when the sector re-opens. Developing outdoor infrastructure is a key element of answering the consumer demand for more flexible dining options.”
Pictured: Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport, Gaeltacht and Media, Catherine Martin TD, pictured with Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland and AnnMarie Farrelly, County and City Management Association (CCMA