Grant scheme set to support tourism and hospitality businesses

A government scheme aimed at developing outdoor public dining spaces has been welcomed as a vital support to assist tourism and hospitality business as society starts to re-open.

Individual tourism and hospitality businesses can avail of the new €17m Outdoor Dining Scheme in partnership with local authorities. 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.

Fianna Fáil Deputy Brendan Smith said the plan is very timely: “The aim of this scheme 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 scheme will help create outdoor dining experiences around our towns and villages that not only benefit locals but are also attractive to domestic and overseas visitors when the sector re-opens.”

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. Local Authorities can apply for up to €200,000 under this element of the scheme.

Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland said: “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.”