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Funding feeds into burgeoning outdoor dining scene in Ennis

FUNDING allocated to Clare County Council for the transformation of parts of Ennis to facilitate permanent outdoor dining “will add to the already stellar outdoor spaces that have sprung up around the town over the past few months”.

That’s according to Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe who has welcomed the allocation of €186,875 to Clare County Council under the government’s Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme.

Francis Street, Lower Parnell Street, Abbey Street Car Park and the Temple Gate Plaza are set to benefit from the funding announced under Fáilte Ireland’s Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme.

“Businesses across Clare and the country have adapted hugely to deal with the outdoor dining necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Deputy Crowe.

“It’s one of the very few positives of this pandemic that we, as a country, are now ramping up the dining options available to ourselves as citizens and also tourists.

“The funding allocated to Ennis will add to the already stellar outdoor spaces that have sprung up around the town over the past few months.

“We’ve all seen the work being carried out on Parnell Street and how fabulous it looks now – there’s huge potential to replicate that in the other parts of the county town that have been namechecked in this grant allocation.

“Future proofing is a vital part of this scheme and ensuring that any new additions are weather resistant is one of the major components meaning, like other European countries, people can dine outdoors year-round, sheltered from the rain, with outdoor heating and blankets and so on.”

“It’s one of the nicest things to do when visiting European cities and to be able to do it on our own doorstep will be better again.

“We’ve temperamental weather in Ireland so it makes sense that we look at making the most of that when looking to outdoor dining spaces.

“I’m thrilled to see that we are now looking at long-term recovery of the tourism and hospitality sector through schemes like this now.”

Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin TD and Fáilte Ireland announced the locations of 38 permanent Outdoor Dining facilities to be developed in 19 counties nationwide, including Clare.
Fáilte Ireland’s Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme opened for applications in March 2021 and comprises two parts. Wednesday’s announcement relates to Part Two of the scheme.

All local authorities were invited to apply to Fáilte Ireland for funding under Part Two – Local Authority Weatherproofing & Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme – to develop streets and public spaces to facilitate year-round weather-proofed outdoor dining in urban tourism centres. 

Part One of the Scheme – Outdoor Seating and Accessories – supports individual hospitality businesses with grants of up to €4,000 for seating, tables and outdoor accessories. Closing date for receipt of applications is September 30 2021.

Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport, Gaeltacht and Media, Catherine Martin TD and Paul Kelly CEO Fáilte Ireland were in Howth, County Dublin to make the official announcement.

Minister Catherine Martin said, “The aim of this scheme is to support tourism and hospitality jobs and help businesses develop new ways of catering for domestic and international tourists outdoors.

“Access to outdoor dining facilities will continue to be a key part of industry recovery as we look forward to 2022 and beyond. This scheme further strengthens the Government’s deep commitment to develop tourism and necessary infrastructure nationwide.”

Paul Kelly CEO of Fáilte Ireland added: “This scheme supports resilience and survival in the short term and the recovery of the tourism sector in the long-term. Outdoor dining and hospitality will now be a year-round feature of our hospitality offering and businesses need to be supported to facilitate this.

“We have already seen the success of the first part of this scheme, which provides individual businesses up to €4,000 towards the cost of outdoor seating. This second part of the scheme being announced today is implemented in partnership with local authorities and will build on strengthening the outdoor dining offering around Ireland to help businesses towards sustainable recovery.”

Moira Murrell, Chair of the CCMA Rural Development, Community, Tourism, Culture and Heritage (RCTCH) Committee stated, “The implementation of the Local Authority Weatherproofing and Outdoor Dining Enhancement scheme will be hugely beneficial for towns and cities around Ireland, enhancing infrastructure and allowing local hospitality businesses to adapt and develop their offering. We look forward to working with Fáilte Ireland on the completion of this scheme.”

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