Summer is back on…
And thanks to new social distancing regulations, Manchester is set to get a huge injection of new, al fresco spaces where we can bask in the sun, enjoy a cheeky pint and catch up with pals safely. Confirming the news just today, Manchester City Council has announced that more than 30 businesses have already applied for permission to have a temporary outdoor face following the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing them to adhere to the government’s social distancing regulations as efficiently as possible.
The new licenses will allow cafes, bars and restaurants to extend their services and capacity onto their immediate outdoor spaces such as the pavements in front of their venues, with the council reviewing each application with practicality and safety in mind.
Speaking of the new licenses, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport, said: “Manchester’s vibrant and diverse retail and hospitality sector not only plays a pivotal role in the cultural heartbeat of our city, it also makes an enormous contribution to our economy as it employs many local people. It’s also a cornerstone of contemporary Mancunian life, where families and friends gather to eat, drink and meet.
“To support the hospitality industry as it faces its biggest challenge yet we will look at making streets more people-friendly by supporting road closures, including in the city centre where space is at a premium so that people have as much space as they need to socially distance over the summer months.”
The city has so far seen pedestrianisation take effect on part of busy Deansgate, as well as Thomas Street in the Northern Quarter – with rumours that Stevenson Square will soon be joining the busy spots in becoming traffic-free.
Here’s the full list of streets confirmed to be pedestrianised to allow for al fresco drinking and dining:
- Blossom Street, Ancoats
- Bridge Street
- Corn Exchange
- Dorsey Street, Northern Quarter
- Edge Street, Northern Quarter
- Great Northern
- King Street
- Short Street
- Gay Village
- Thomas Street, Northern Quarter
- Wakefield Street/James Leigh Street
A large number of Manchester hospitality businesses will re-open this weekend, with the transformation of the above streets set to take place over the coming months.