Northern Ireland

Pavement cafe scheme extended in Belfast

There are 94 pavement cafes in Belfast operating with temporary licences
There are 94 pavement cafes in Belfast operating with temporary licences There are 94 pavement cafes in Belfast operating with temporary licences

A licensing scheme to allow cafes and restaurants to serve on pavements has been extended until the end of December.

There are 94 pavement cafes in Belfast operating with temporary licences.

Belfast City Council extended the scheme, with consultation now under way on a proposed permanent one starting in January 2024.

Travel Stock – Belfast City – Ireland
Travel Stock – Belfast City – Ireland A pavement cafe licence authorises businesses supplying food or drink to place furniture on a public area for use by customers (PA)

The council introduced the temporary scheme in June 2020 to assist the city’s hospitality sector during the recovery period following the Covid-19 lockdown.

A pavement cafe licence authorises businesses supplying food or drink to place furniture on a public area for use by customers.

This includes cafes, restaurants, pubs and retail outlets providing refreshments.

The proposals to make the scheme permanent will include engagement with existing licensees, the local business community, representatives of organisations supporting disabled people and other government agencies.

A transition period of three months from January would be introduced to enable licensed businesses to continue to operate until the granting of a permanent licence is determined.