New outdoor dining areas to be created

The City will construct outdoor dining activations in three hospitality precincts in Geelong and Geelong West, following strong public support for the initiative.

The City will install the al fresco dining areas and associated streetscape improvements in:

Backed by funding from the Victorian Government, the three-month initiative will support businesses to increase trade and maximise their economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Infrastructure will be installed in the three new locations from next week, following a trial of outdoor dining in The Terrace, Ocean Grove from December 2020.

The activations will provide accessible outdoor seating for hospitality providers to expand their outdoor service and cater to more customers.

Additional plants, greenery and extra footpath space will also be a feature.

Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher said it was an opportune time to expand outdoor dining in and around the CBD, following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and the rise in employees returning to the office.

“The creation of outdoor dining areas in Union and Yarra streets will help traders attract and retain a growing number of workers and visitors to the CBD,” Mayor Asher said.

“While the addition of eight new al fresco sections on ‘Pako’ will enhance the street’s atmosphere and create more reasons for people to eat, drink, shop and socialise.”

The City released concept plans for the proposed activations in late January.

All three locations received strong support, with submissions ranging from 65 per cent positive (Pakington Street) through to 98 per cent positive (Union Street).

The City will evaluate the impacts of the activations and gain feedback from traders and the community to determine if they will continue in any form beyond 22 June.

Funding to support the rollout in multiple precincts has been provided by the Victorian Government’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package.

The first activation is still in place in The Terrace, Ocean Grove, where it has received majority support from businesses and the community.

It has been extended past an initial three-month period until 18 April, to cater to the anticipated influx of visitors over Easter and the school holidays.

Greater Geelong is experiencing an outdoor dining boom, with the City approving more than 60 temporary permits for new or extended al fresco areas during the past six months.

The City is running an ongoing campaign, It’s Our Backyard, to encourage the Geelong community to think local first when seeking goods and services.

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