A pilot project in Liverpool that includes a business grant scheme, pedestrianisation and new street furniture has been unveiled.
The initiative is part of the ongoing Liverpool Without Walls project and a collaboration between the City Council, Business Improvement District and Chamber of Commerce. It aims to redesign Liverpool's outdoor spaces and ensure that hospitality businesses are given the best possible chance of survival.
As well as introducing road closures on Bold Street and Castle Street, the recovery plan also includes pop-up parks, as well as a business grant scheme and free trading permits to enable restaurant and café operators to trade outside.
Business grants of up to £4,000 to cover the costs of outdoor furniture are available for independent and small-to-medium businesses that pay business rates and hold an existing street café licence or a temporary street café licence.
The furniture installation on Bold Street will take place from early July, with the roll-out of additional seating expected throughout the summer.
Chief executive of Liverpool BID Company and chair of the Liverpool Visitor Economy Network (LVEN), Bill Addy, said the project was "the start of a revolution in how we use the city centre".
"I know lots of restaurants are desperate to open their doors and I wish we could help every single one of them in this first phase, but we need to be measured and realistic in our roll out so we can get this right and in turn support more and more businesses over the coming weeks."