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Retail Trade: Urban Areas

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL14952, tabled on 14 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to encourage consumers to support independent high street businesses.

Answered on

28 April 2021

We have extended opening hours for retail from 7am to 10pm until the 21st of June 2021, giving people greater flexibility to avoid peak times and easing transport pressures.

In order to support hospitality businesses, the temporary pavement licence provisions introduced in the Business and Planning Act 2020 create a quicker and cheaper process for businesses to obtain a licence to place outdoor furniture, including tables, chairs, and stalls outside their premise. The Government intends to extend the temporary pavement licence provisions for 12 months until September 2022, subject to Parliamentary approval.

In order to make sure that businesses can make the most of the summer, businesses such as pubs and restaurants, including where these premises are in listed buildings, will be allowed to use their land more flexibly to set up marquees and provide more outdoor space for diners as restrictions ease, allowing them to serve more customers and recover from the effects of the pandemic. They can be kept up for the whole summer rather than the 28 days currently permitted.

We are also providing a £56 million Welcome Back Fund which will help councils boost tourism, improve green spaces, and provide more outdoor seating areas, markets, and food stall pop-ups – giving people more safer options to reunite with friends and relatives.

Answered by

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy