Bold Street Outdoor Seating
The redesign of Bold Street and Castle Street will feature outdoor seating and 'parklets'

Liverpool launches outdoor dining initiative

Dan Whelan

The city council has appointed consultancies Arup and Meristem to design a street pedestrianisation scheme promoting outdoor eating, to help restaurants operate despite social distancing measures.

The scheme will see the pedestrianisation of Bold Street and Castle Street in Liverpool City Centre throughout the summer. 

Bold Street will be the pilot location for the project, which is part of the wider Liverpool Without Walls initiative, aimed at redesigning the city and its hospitality sector to function under social distancing measures. 

Urban architect Arup has designed the pedestrianisation of Bold Street, featuring outdoor seating and temporary ‘parklets’, designed by London-based consultancy Meristem.

Work on redesigning Bold Street is to start in July. Similar designs could be rolled out across Liverpool, if the move is successful.

As part of the initiative, independent restaurants in Liverpool can apply for a grant of up to £4,000 to buy outdoor furniture such as tables and chairs. 

Businesses would usually have to pay £600 for a licence to have outdoor seating but the council is waiving this to boost the hospitality sector following months of lockdown. 

Cllr Wendy Simon, cabinet member for culture and tourism at Liverpool City Council, said: “This is a phased approach to the reopening of the hospitality sector. It is so good that we are starting to see positive steps forward for a sector that has been so hard hit by the crisis.” 


Liverpool Outdoor Seating

An example of what the seating areas may look like c.Meristem

Garry Banks, director of Arup, added: “The creative use of space on the streets of the city centre has never been more important. 

“The development of a ‘kit of parts’ concept for parklets will provide high quality and adaptable spaces that will enhance local character and sense of place, whilst also enabling businesses to operate safely.” 

Natalie Haywood, managing director of the Leaf Group, which has a restaurant on Bold Street, praised the move and said she hoped it would give people confidence to return to restaurants and “inject some positive energy” into the sector. 

Last month, the council in collaboration with Liverpool BID Company, which represents 1,500 businesses in the city centre, and the Chamber of Commerce announced a £450,000 package of funding for Liverpool Without Walls. 

The project is aimed at “giving businesses in Liverpool the best chance of being ready to trade as soon as restrictions on hospitality businesses trading are lifted by the Government,” the city council said at the time.  

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce tomorrow that lockdown restrictions for the hospitality sector are to be eased from 4 July.


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I hope this really works and helps those businesses that have been struggling during lockdown.

By Lovepool

Brilliant concept for Liverpool. Exactly the way we need to be moving permanently in town and city centres

By Junior

A few grade A office spaces with a bit of sunshine and the Pool is smashing it.

By #officesmatter

Excellent news

By Anonymous

Saw that somewhere else was using greenhouses with a sliding door as each booth – good for rain proofing but be roasting at the height of summer!

By Angie

I agree with the concept, but what happens in the bad weather? Also, additional pressure on street cleansing and policing if more outdoor drinking taking place. When it works well, e.g. Passeig de Gracia in Barcelona, it’s brilliant. The only place I’ve seen it work well in this country is Covent Garden.

By John Smith

A great initiative. Kudos and credit to Liverpool City Coucil

By Brian D

Great proactivity LCC. This is close to our refreshed Liverpool Central station and we are leasing to numerous new food operators. A very exciting time for the city – post Covid.

By Ryan Kennedy

“Refreshed Liverpool Central” shows how low expectations have gone in this city. Anyone would think we’re talking about St Pancras, rather than a still tatty mini-mall, attached to a station nowhere near exploited to its potential. Plans for the future anyone? No, didn’t think so.

It will be telling how few bids, and low quality at that, will be put in from Liverpool for post-COVID projects funding. For some, “pipeline” is just something that goes under millions of pounds worth of paving slabs.

By Mike

Remember the old rhyme. ” in good weather enjoy the heather, in bad weather, bring an unbrella”

By Poetry that.

Brilliant idea and the way to go for the high street.

By Anonymous