A NEW €17 million scheme for developing outdoor dining capacity has been announced.
The Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme comprises two parts and will be delivered in partnership between Fáilte Ireland and Local Authorities across the country.
Part One of the Scheme will provide funding for individual tourism and hospitality businesses to develop and increase their own outdoor seating capacity.
Funding allocated under Part Two will enable Local Authorities to develop permanent outdoor public dining spaces in towns and urban centres, similar to those that exist in various European cities.
The Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport, Gaeltacht and Media, Catherine Martin T.D. will officially launch the scheme, which opens for initial applications on April 12.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Donegal TD, Charlie McConalogue, today welcomed the announcement.
He said: “The objectives of this scheme have the potential to greatly assist Donegal individual tourism and hospitality businesses to increase their outdoor offerings and to help Donegal County Council develop long-term appropriate weatherproofed outdoor dining infrastructure.
“Tourism and hospitality are some of Donegal’s greatest assets and the benefits of this scheme can greatly enhance Donegal’s economic and tourism offering.”
Joe McHugh TD also welcomed the announcement. He said: “Earlier this week, Government launched a new policy entitled Our Rural Future, the most ambitious and transformational policy for rural development in decades.
“Developing outdoor dining and socialising spaces will help to improve the vibrancy of our towns across Donegal and bring them more in line with the European model. This is a key commitment in our new policy.
“Today’s announcement regarding the new Outdoor Dining Scheme has two aims. It will enable individual tourism and hospitality businesses to increase their dining and seating capacity in the short-term and will also create a long-term strategy for our local authority to develop appropriate, permanent, weatherproofed outdoor dining infrastructure here in Donegal.
“This will support jobs and businesses and transform appropriate outdoor
Local Authorities will administer the scheme through their internal business perspective and processes.
All applicants will be required to comply with planning codes, legislative and other compliance requirements.
Applicants can apply for a grant of up to €4,000 (up to 75% of the ex-VAT cost of equipment purchased/installed). Costs for outdoor tables, chairs, umbrellas, electric heaters, screens/windbreaks, plant stands and wooden platforms will be covered under the scheme.
Expenditure must be incurred between 1st April 2020 and 30th September 2021 and the scheme will open for applications on April 12th 2021 through Local Authority websites.