Residents may start to notice the roll out of new outdoor dining infrastructure for hospitality businesses throughout Horsham Rural City Council.
HRCC is managing more than 30 projects after local pandemic-impacted businesses submitted proposals for support funding.
Among the installations to come are wind barriers, planter boxes, shade structures, street furniture and servery windows across Horsham, Natimuk, Wartook and Dadswells Bridge.
One business to benefit is Bonnie and Clydes Pizzeria, which has just opened its doors at brand new premises in Firebrace Street.
Permanent outdoor glass barriers will soon be installed around its seating area. Bonnie and Clydes also received funding for custom built tables and chairs provided by local businesses Winstar Constructions and Cabinets and Stone.
Also, part of the installations will be two urban smart shelters which have a solar panel on the top for lighting and phone charging facilities.
Council will own and manage the shelters which are to be installed at central Horsham locations yet to be finalised.
All 33 projects are being funded from both the Victorian Government’s outdoor dining package and Council’s own COVID support program included in last year’s budget, with a combined total in excess of $1 million.
“Over the past eight months Council has worked closely with hospitality businesses to bring their initial outdoor dining proposals to fruition,” Mayor Robyn Gulline said.
“This has required many individual discussions, design and project scoping works and also ensuring all public safety and regulations are maintained prior to delivering projects with our local businesses. It even required Council to rewrite the footpath trading guidelines to enable permanent infrastructure and street furniture to be permitted on our footpaths.
Cr Gulline said while the end result would be an improved dining experience across the municipality, there may be some disruption while contractors installed the infrastructure.
“Council with our businesses are keen to give their valued customers, the general public and visitors, a heads up, that while this initiative is being delivered on the ground, for a short period of time some of our streets may be cluttered, not very accessible which may create some discomfort while the new infrastructure and street furniture is being installed,” Cr Gulline said.
“We’re really hoping that local people and visitors get out and enjoy eating outdoors, particularly over the warmer months which are not all that far away now as we head towards spring,” she said.