Assistance to Expand Ballarat’s Outdoor Dining Footprint

The City of Ballarat is facilitating an exciting transformation of outdoor dining across Ballarat, to protect the future of the hospitality industry beyond COVID and create unique and comfortable experiences for diners

The City received $500,000 as part of the Victorian Government’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package and is encouraging businesses to submit an Expression of Interest for assistance to move or expand their business operation to an outdoor dining experience.

The Small Infrastructure Program will help revitalise previously unsuitable spaces to be activated for outdoor dining, so patrons can enjoy comfortable dining experience outdoors at their favourite café or restaurant. This program will involve the installation of umbrella sockets and fixed wind barriers on Council managed land adjacent to hospitality businesses.

The second program introduced is the Outdoor Dining Hub. This program has the potential to create innovative dining experiences, capitalising on Ballarat’s unique character and charm. The program encourages businesses to work with their neighbouring hospitality operators to activate new outdoor dining spaces, by utilising land not currently being used for dining (such as parking spaces or roadways).

Proposals are being encouraged to be creative and engaging, whilst also respecting local neighbourhood character and the need for continued adherence to regulations designed to protect health, safety and access.

Ballarat Mayor, Cr Daniel Moloney said Council has consulted with more than 60 hospitality venues, including undertaking 25 site visits to inform the two packages offered for the development of long-term dining options that support our businesses and their economic recovery.

“There is no end date for COVID, so whatever we can do now to safeguard our hospitality sector to prepare for long term changes to the way we dine in and outside, is imperative to the sector’s future, Cr Moloney said.

“The community can certainly look forward to some exciting changes, in the coming weeks and months as we work together to create a new, expanded outdoor dining environment for Ballarat.”

Minister for Small Business and Employment, the Hon. Jaala Pulford said: “As Ballarat plots the path to a COVID Normal summer, we are pleased to be able to partner with the City of Ballarat and local hospitality businesses to provide the support needed to take the indoors out into to the open air.”

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