The allocation of €200,000 for outdoor dining facilities in Thurles and Clonmel is being described as a major step forward.
The funding under the Outdoor Enhancement Scheme will see €86,200 for works at Old Baker Street in Thurles and €113,800 for East Lane at the Mary Street Mall in Clonmel.
It’s part of a €9 million project across 19 counties from the Department of Tourism.
Thurles Councillor Jim Ryan says as the town’s only pedestrianised area Old Baker Street lends itself to outdoor dining.
“The next steps involved in this now is that the local District Council will appoint an architect to carry out designs for the street. Obviously there will be consultation with the business owners and residents on Baker Street.”
“It’ll go out to tender and then hopefully early next year construction will start. This is great news and something that the street badly needs – it’s a street that is really under developed and under-utilized and I think this is going to be the shot in the arm that Baker Street requires.”
Jim Ryan thinks Irish people have embraced the idea of outdoor dining during the pandemic
He says the increased popularity of outdoor dining has been a major boost for businesses.
“I think its something that the restaurant and café owners say has been very positive and has increased the capacity. I think it’s positive – it’s the way forward and we’re trying to catch up with Europe and if funding like this is made available we should be availing of it.”