Friday, February 23, 2024

Ballarat dishes up new outdoor dining infrastructure

More than 40 Ballarat hospitality businesses are set to receive new outdoor dining infrastructure, including umbrella sockets and/or glass wind protection barriers, City of Ballarat Council has announced.

It said the improvements would allow cafes, hotels, and restaurants to expand their dining footprint – especially due to COVID-19 restrictions – while also protecting patrons from local weather conditions.

The program is funded by the State Government’s Outdoor Dining and Entertainment Package, with the Council receiving $500,000 for both its Outdoor Dining Hub Program and the Outdoor Dining Infrastructure Program.

A further $500,000 has been included in the City of Ballarat’s 2021/22 budget to CBD Outdoor Dining and Streetscape Activation.

City of Ballarat Mayor, Daniel Moloney said the outdoor dining activation would create the right balance of immediate outdoor eating spaces, while also providing longer-term alfresco dining options.

“We will also continue to seek further outdoor dining funding opportunities,” Mayor Moloney said.

“The City of Ballarat’s 2021/22 budget has also included $500,000 towards CBD Outdoor Dining and Streetscape Activation, with $200,000 a carryover from the State Government grant.”

He said discussions with Ballarat businesses indicated that weather, rather than space, was the biggest outdoor dining impediment so a special request was made to the State Government to use a large portion of its funding on weather protection infrastructure.

In total, 71 hospitality businesses applied for the infrastructure, with 42 being successful.

Council says applications were assessed for maximum community and economic benefit.

The objective was to distribute the available infrastructure in the most beneficial way possible, to satisfy as many requests as possible, it said.

A City of Ballarat mySay survey also showed 70% of respondents approved of outdoor dining and that they would be prepared to walk to active outdoor dining spaces that were aesthetically pleasing, with good design and weather protection.

“Congratulations to the hospitality businesses across Ballarat who have been successful in their applications for grant funding. It has been a very challenging time for our cafes, pubs and restaurants and it is so important that the State Government, City of Ballarat and local community support them,” said Wendouree MP, Juliana Addison.

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