Forever Edinburgh: George Street hospitality businesses to be helped back on their feet by raft of council measures

Edinburgh City Council is introducing a raft of recession-busting measures to get hospitality businesses back on their feet – including waiving outdoor permit fees for bars, removing kerbside parking to make room for outside seating and closing George Street for events.

By Caitlyn Dewar
Saturday, 24th April 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 12:15 am
Businesses on George Street have been working hard behind the scenes to prepare to reopen
Businesses on George Street have been working hard behind the scenes to prepare to reopen

From Monday, George Street will be able to welcome visitors back for outdoor dining and drinks after a difficult year for the industry, which now needs locals to return in order to thrive.

The measures being implemented include allowing businesses to serve booze outside until 10pm, and waiving fees for ‘road occupation permits’ for outdoor tables and chairs across the city, until at least September 30.

Depute Council Leader Cammy Day said: “After such a long time staying at home, people will be champing at the bit to get out into the warmer weather and meet up safely again as restrictions start to relax.

Forever Edinburgh

“Hospitality businesses have been given the opportunity to apply for more outdoor seating space in the city centre and across the Capital which we hope will help in attracting more people to support these bars, restaurants and cafes while also giving a footfall boost for surrounding retail businesses as they begin to reopen their doors.

“I hope people are looking forward to planning a trip into town or to their local high street for a bite to eat and a browse round the shops, giving a much longed-for lift to our local traders. Hospitality and retail are the lifeblood of our communities, supporting tens of thousands of jobs and the wider economy, so it’s vital we help them get back on their feet as quickly as they can.”

The Evening News is supporting Forever Edinburgh, a joint campaign between the City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG) and VisitScotland. This encourages people to rediscover the city, its stories and places while supporting local businesses, promoting attractions, shops, bars and restaurants as lockdown eases.