Our local businesses, including our cafes, bars and restaurants are important to our community.
COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on trading. Businesses in the hospitality sector specifically are expected to operate with up to half of their usual customer capacity for the foreseeable future.
Enabling outdoor trading
To support our local high street businesses during these unprecedented times, Barnet Council has developed a fast track application process for Temporary Trading Licenses and Pavement Licenses.
As a result, you will see hospitality businesses throughout Barnet that have put tables and chairs out where there were none before.
Businesses adopting street space
For a number of businesses in town centres access to external space is not straightforward. To support these businesses, we have set up the Temporary Town Centre Street Space Fund.
The fund aims to support businesses located where there is insufficient street space outside their premises, particularly those in the hospitality industry, to replace the capacity for table and chairs they once had within their premises.
Successful applicants will be offered a temporary license for street trading and will be provided with temporary, wooden, planted, barriers to create a pleasant, safe and enclosed trading space.
In most cases, these businesses use a section of the wide pavement in front of their property, or temporarily use car parking spaces.
This could look like the following:
Naturally, all applications are reviewed by the Council’s Highways and Licensing team to ensure the proposed measures are appropriate and safe. And any loading bays and disabled bays that are affected will be re-allocated nearby.
We aim to support businesses and provide pleasant and safe spaces for residents, in our town centres.
The barriers provided to businesses, separating their trading space from public space, are planters that hold edible plants.
Plants will be planted into the barriers by GROW, an initiative of Totteridge Academy. Grow will be using the project as a part of their education programme that provides local young people and adults aged 17 – 25 years with training to pursue careers in horticulture.
In addition, we have partnered with Barnet’s Incredible Edible who will be supporting the local business owners with training to ensure they get the most out of their planters.
The schemes have been received positively by town centre businesses.
Since launching this initiative Barnet has seen applications of Temporary Trading Licenses and Pavement Licenses go up by 30% and we already have over twenty businesses that have applied for the Temporary Town Centre Street Space Fund.
If successful in their application, these businesses are initially provided a pavement street trading license that will enable them to trade from this space until September 2021. Beyond this, businesses can choose to either extend or cease their on-street trading activities.
Over this period, the council will undertake a comprehensive assessment of the impact of these spaces for both the business and the town centre.
If at any point the business decides to cease trading in the public realm, temporarily reallocated parking spaces will become available for parking again.
In the meanwhile, the council will continue to monitor the impact of these changes on our town centres. Any comments regarding the scheme can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org