Outdoor dining to transform Melbourne

In a move that will transform Melbourne’s food culture for generations to come, the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government will support businesses to expand their outdoor trading onto footpaths, carparks, streets and laneways.

There are currently 2390 cafes and restaurants in the City of Melbourne, however only 800 venues have outdoor dining permits. The program is now open to support businesses to extend their trading further. 
The changes that will be made to support outdoor dining over the coming months are expected to transform Melbourne’s outdoor dining culture to rival other great cities around the world. 
The City of Melbourne will treat each application on a case-by-case basis to ensure safety and amenity is maintained for patrons, residents, businesses and pedestrians.
The outdoor dining program will provide temporary permits for eligible venues to:
  1. Expand onto footpaths
  2. Take over on-street car parking space (green signs) immediately outside their business
  3. Join with neighbouring businesses to take over sections of on-street car parking, footpaths and (in some cases) street space. Six key dining precincts have been identified: Bourke Street East; Russell Street; Lygon Street Carlton; Errol Street North Melbourne; Domain Road South Yarra; and Bellair Street Kensington. Traders can also work with us to identify alternative locations.
  4. Join with neighbouring businesses to expand into a laneway adjacent to their business.
For venues that don’t have outdoor dining there are options available to assist these establishments to continue to trade.
From today, city businesses can apply for grants of up to $10,000 to extend dining onto footpaths, streets and laneways. Permits are free and a new guide to outdoor dining is available to support businesses seeking to extend their outdoor trading.
Grants of up to $10,000 are available for the following City of Melbourne businesses:
• Hospitality businesses to support temporary outdoor dining and reopening
• Small and medium-sized businesses in any industry for: 
o COVID-safe remodelling and conversions
o COVID-safe equipment and infrastructure
o Staff training and development activities to adapt to a COVID-19 operating environment
o Marketing and promotion.
These programs are part of the $100 million Melbourne City Recovery Fund being delivered together with the Victorian Government.
The grants will be announced in two rounds – on Friday 23 October and Friday 6 November. This will provide early applicants with a timely response, while also accommodating business that may need the full four-week application period to develop their plans and proposals. 
The grants are open until 11.59pm on Friday 23 October 2020 via the City of Melbourne grants page. 
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