UKHospitality calls for permanent walkway licences to 'speed sector's recovery'

Monday, March 7, 2022

UKHospitality believes the continuing introduction of patch licences will help the hospitality industry devastated by Covid recover more quickly from pandemic.

The trade association said outdoor dining and drinking areas maintained some hospitality businesses as restrictions barred indoor customer service, and increased dramatically in recent years as a result of the Covid pandemic.

Reacting to a recent call from the Department for Housing and Communities to comment on the licences for walkways, UKHospitality said it would make the temporary scheme, which was introduced in April last year and will expire in September this year, permanent and "cheap and inexpensive."

The Trade Association's calls for the system to be permanent might require change in cost and management, but it requires it to be simple and cost-effective enough to operate.

It voted in favour of a proposed £350 cap on application fees and says that any new charging system should encourage and enable communities to offer subsidised, even free pavements, which some councils have been quite successful in doing for businesses and local areas.

UKHospitality manager Kate Nicholls said: "Pavement licences also revealed our sector's ingenuity and creativity, with some truly striking outdoor spaces being created across the UK – from pods to yurts – and significant levels of investment in features such as lighting and heating.

UKHospitality managing director Kate Nicholls said: "Pavement licences have been a really positive success story, and in many cases have enabled businesses to remain open, when otherwise they would have had to close or restrict their opening hours, threatening thousands of jobs.