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Gloucestershire Business News

Cheltenham clears space for outdoor dining

Shoppers and outside diners will find more space on one Cheltenham street after work to enable safe social distancing as further lockdown restrictions are introduced from this weekend.

Temporary installations have widened the area for customers to sit outside cafes, bar and restaurants in Regent Street as they reopen from tomorrow.

Regent Street links High Street to the Promenade and provides access to Cavendish House department store, Regent Arcade shopping centre and the Everyman Theatre, as well as housing a number of cafes, bars and restaurants.

Cheltenham Borough Council leader Councillor Steve Jordan said: "As our important hospitality sector begins to reopen, it's vital that we continue to do all we can to support these businesses to open and operate as effectively, but also as safely as possible.

"Our over-riding priority remains the health and safety of the public, so once again, I'm grateful to our colleagues at Gloucestershire County Council and Cheltenham BID for helping us to bring forward these additional measures which will ensure safe social distancing can be achieved"

All loading and disabled bays on Regent Street have been kept and no parking bays have been changed with one lane reallocated with water-filled barriers and a priority traffic system.

Cheltenham BID director Kevan Blackadder said: "One of the major concerns raised by our hospitality businesses has been that they will lose significant space to serve their customers as they comply with social distancing rules.

"They were keen to be able to use areas outside their businesses and I'm delighted we've been able to make these changes in Regent Street to allow that to happen."

The additional measures have been supported by additional government funding from the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund which has seen £50million from the European Regional Development Fund shared between councils in England aimed at supporting the safe reopening of high streets.

Councillor Nigel Moor, Gloucestershire County Council cabinet member for environment and planning, said: "We're working hard, alongside our district colleagues, to make it easier and safer to walk and cycle right across the county - with more plans coming soon."

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