16 May 2022

Boost as grant scheme for outdoor dining opens to Kilkenny businesses

Eligible expenditure: Tables, chairs, umbrellas, electric heaters, screens/windbreaks, plant stands, and wooden platforms


Outdoor dining

The new grant scheme for the tourism and hospitality sector to assist with outdoor dining is now officially open.

Failte Ireland and local authorities, through the ‘Outdoor Seating and Accessories Scheme’, are looking to encourage life back into cities and towns. Through this scheme the aim is to support jobs and to transform and open up appropriate spaces within our cities and towns for outdoor dining, as safe, welcoming, vibrant places in order to help support economic recovery.

This scheme is open to attractions, hotels, restaurants, cafés, public houses or other establishments where food is sold for consumption on the premises. Applicants can apply to Kilkenny County Council for a grant of up to €4,000 (for up to 75% of the ex-VAT cost of equipment purchased/installed).

Eligible expenditure includes: Tables, chairs, umbrellas, electric heaters, screens/windbreaks, plant stands, and wooden platforms. All applicants will be required to comply with planning codes, legislative requirements and other compliance requirements.

“This a great initiative for Kilkenny’s tourism and hospitality providers," says Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Andrew McGuinness. "The funding will be very welcome by the sector as they prepare to reopen their business and avail of the local tourist trade for the summer of 2021."

The scheme is open since yesterday for applications and will close on September 30. Expenditure must be incurred between the April 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021.

Applicants can apply through Kilkenny County Council’s website at the following address: https://leokilkenny.submit. com/show/102. Alternatively, you can contact (056) 7752662 for further information.

The focus of the scheme is to provide a level of financial support to tourism and hospitality businesses, in County Kilkenny, to purchase or upgrade equipment to provide additional outdoor seating and, therefore, increase their outdoor dining capacity for the summer of 2021. This scheme will financially assist and support independent tourism and hospitality business owners to create outdoor dining experiences in a regulated and accessible manner. Funding under the scheme is only available to existing businesses.

The purpose of the scheme is to enable the rethinking of spaces, allowing for greater use and enjoyment and making them more about people. The government says this will contribute to the short, medium and longer term survival and sustainable growth of our towns and cities.

Tourism and hospitality have been among the worst affected sectors by the pandemic, with tourism and hospitality businesses closed for lengthy periods. Consumer research undertaken by Fáilte Ireland during the pandemic has shown that the public and visitors remain interested in our key urban centres, but anxieties regarding personal safety continue.

Destination case studies from a number of other destinations including Copenhagen, Lisbon, Melbourne and Somerset & Devon shows a shift to public space and placemaking and a growing trend for additional outdoor dining options. Through the administration of this funding scheme, Kilkenny County Council continues to support businesses in 2021. 

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