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Ballarat expands its outdoor dining options

Ballarat expands its outdoor dining options
January 13, 2021

Ballarat is expanding its outdoor dining options this summer with the installation this week of two new, temporary outdoor hubs in the CBD.

The hubs, comprised of six all weather cubes, have been installed this week on Armstrong Street North and the 400 block of Sturt Street.

The outdoor dining hubs have been funded through $500,000 from the Victorian Government’s Local Councils Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package to support hospitality businesses reopening following the COVID period.

The hubs will provide 36 additional outdoor dining seats, with an expected total economic impact of around $1.3 million during the three-month period they will be in operation.

In late 2020, Ballarat businesses were invited to work together to submit joint proposals for outdoor dining hubs.

The proposals were assessed against a range of criteria, including location and how the hubs would add to the vibrancy of the area where they would be installed.

Ballarat Mayor Daniel Moloney said the expansion of outdoor dining options in the city would provide a welcome boost to Ballarat CBD businesses advising “these hubs will have a direct benefit for the successful joint applicants by expanding the number of patrons they’re able to host under COVID Normal conditions.

“Expanded alfresco dining will also add to the already vibrant atmosphere in these locations and benefit other neighbouring businesses by increasing foot traffic.

“It’s a great fit with our Summer of Fun in Ballarat campaign which is being promoted into Melbourne and regional Victoria and showcases the great food options we’ve come to know and love in Ballarat.”

Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison added “the Coronavirus pandemic has had an enormous impact on Ballarat’s hospitality venues and these dining hubs are an innovative way that we can directly support local businesses to maximise their patronage while under COVID Normal restrictions.

“With support from the State Government and collaboration with the City of Ballarat, our hospitality business are reimagining eating and entertainment in our great city. Taking the indoors out into the open air has the potential to enhance our city and open up exciting new experiences.”

The temporary hubs will remain in place until the end of the daylight-saving period in April and will be in operation during upcoming events such as the Cycling Road Nationals and the Ballarat Begonia Festival.

The $500,000 allocation will also support a program for businesses across the municipality to install small infrastructure, such as wind barriers, needed to create a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable outdoor dining experience. Further announcements about this component of the Ballarat program will be made in coming weeks.

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