Efforts to create a café culture in Barrow are being ramped up as pubs and restaurants prepare to reopen serving outdoors next week.

Venues will be able to serve food and drinks again from Monday as the Government's 'roadmap' out of the coronavirus lockdown continues on schedule, with people able to eat and drink outdoors.

To support the reopening of the economy, people can apply for pavement licences to serve people outside their premises and allow the Covid-19 rules to be followed.

And Colin Garnett, the leader of Barrow Business Improvement District (BID), believes it would be a good use of some of the town's pedestrian areas – although he said weather and wildlife have to be taken into consideration to ensure there is a 'quality' offering.

He said: “I think it’s good that businesses can now look at using the outside space in the town centre.

"The big pedestrianised areas lend themselves well for a café culture.

“It would be good to have pavement licences, but we have weather as an issue.

"We have to contend with both the weather we get and are known for and our feathered friends from above.

“It’s all good, but we need to make sure we create quality.”

Barrow Council's advice on pavement licences on its website said: "The Business and Planning Act 2020 plans to make it easier for premises serving food and drink such as bars, restaurants and pubs, as lockdown restrictions are lifted but social distancing guidelines remain in place to seat and serve customers outdoors through temporary changes to planning procedures and alcohol licensing.

"The measures included in the act modify provisions in the Licensing Act 2003 to provide automatic extensions to the terms of on-sales alcohol licences to allow for off-sales.

"It will be a temporary measure to boost the economy, with provisions lasting until the end of September 2021."

In order to be issued with a pavement licence, traders must meet the following criteria:

• A completed application form

• The required fee of £100

• A plan showing the location of the premises shown by a red line, so the site can be clearly identified by the public

• A plan clearly showing the proposed area covered by the licence in relation to the highway, if not to scale, with measurements clearly shown. The plan must show the positions and number of the proposed tables and chairs, together with any other items that they wish to place on the highway. The plan shall include clear measurements of, for example, pathway width/length, building width and any other fixed item in the proposed area

• The proposed days of the week and the times of day it is proposed to put furniture on the highway

• Evidence of the right to occupy the premises (e.g. the lease)

• Photos or brochures showing the proposed type of furniture and information on potential siting of it within the area applied for

• Reference of existing pavement licence currently granted by the county council

• Evidence that the applicant has met the requirement to give notice of the application, for example photographs of the notice outside the premises and of the notice itself

• A copy of a current certificate of insurance that covers the activity for third party and public liability risks, to a minimum value of £5 million

• Any other evidence needed to demonstrate how the council’s local conditions and any national conditions will be satisfied.

Applications can be completed on the council's website at www.barrowbc.gov.uk/business/licensing/pavement-licences