Free outdoor dining furniture on offer to community groups

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As hospitality venues get back to business after Coronavirus restrictions, Corangamite Shire is donating its temporary picnic settings to community groups.

In October last year Council received $250,000 from the State Government’s Outdoor Dining Package to buy the settings and provide more socially distanced outdoor dining options.

With the help of Men’s Sheds across the Shire, more than 70 settings were built and placed in all towns across the Shire.

Mayor Ruth Gstrein invited not-for-profit community groups to submit expressions of interest.

“The outdoor settings have been terrific,” Cr Gstrein said. “They’ve been really well used. It highlights to Council that there’s a need for more outdoor settings to be installed in certain locations. That’s what we’ll be doing.

“It’s also great that the settings will be reused by community groups. I’m sure there will be strong demand.”

Loaf and Lounge owner Sharon Johnson praised the outdoor dining initiative.

“They have been a valuable support for local businesses,” she said of the picnic settings.

“They have been great as additional seating for our customers under the avenue and we would hope to see them continue.”

Manager Growth and Engagement Rory Neeson said the settings had played their part and it was time for the community groups to benefit from the investment.

“This project has been very successful in helping our local businesses through a difficult time. We’ve received some excellent feedback from traders and members of the public,” Cr Gstrein said.

“By passing them on to clubs and volunteer groups in the Shire, we can make sure they continue to be assets for our community.

“The Men’s Sheds did a fantastic job and the settings are comfortable and sturdy but don’t meet the long-term durability standards for permanent street furniture.

“Groups can express their interest at www.corangamite.vic.gov.au/OutdoorDining

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