Outdoor seating arrangements extended to help hospitality recover

We’re continuing our support for the hospitality sector to help businesses make the most of outdoor space safely as Covid 19 cases remain high in Edinburgh.

A number of measures agreed in March to help economic recovery are being extended, including allowing temporary structures created to increase outdoor seating capacity to stay in place until 31 October. After this time permissions such as planning may be required.

Charges for outdoor area occupation permits (for tables and chairs) are also being waived until 31 December.

This provision will continue to apply across the city meaning all Edinburgh hospitality businesses are eligible, provided they apply for and obtain the relevant road occupation permit.  

Council leader Adam McVey said:

Unfortunately, we’re all still very much living through the effects of this pandemic. Our local pubs, cafes and restaurants have had an extremely tough 18 months and so and it’s really important we continue to do everything we can to support our local businesses as they begin to recover with many restrictions now no longer in place. This needs to be balanced with local needs and so that’s why if you created an additional structure for extra outdoor capacity during the pandemic, you need to apply for the appropriate permission after 31 October.

This will also provide a welcome boost to surrounding retail businesses as more people are attracted to safely enjoy the outdoor spaces throughout Edinburgh.

Depute Leader Cammy Day said:

Last year we streamlined the application process for using outdoor spaces for tables and chairs as part of our drive to support the city’s economic recovery. Our aim is to help businesses safely make use of outside space at no cost to them. We’re continuing to implement the permit system to allow us to monitor where businesses are providing outdoor space to make sure they are doing so appropriately and safely, while also taking into account the needs of local people.

Supporting business and retaining jobs is a key priority for us as the pandemic continues. So far, the Council has administered over 19000 payments totalling over £250m to businesses.


Published: September 16th 2021