Converting car parks for alfresco eating, portable planter boxes and street barricades that double as dining booths are among options being considered as part of a $500,000 plan to support local hospitality venues and activate public spaces.
Mildura Rural City Council has received a $500,000 Victorian Government grant for infrastructure and equipment to support the expansion of outdoor dining as part of COVID-19 recovery efforts.
Council is working closely with Mildura Regional Development, Mildura City Heart and traders across the region to ensure the funding is put to best use.
Mayor Jason Modica said about a dozen local cafes, restaurants and other venues had already applied for free permanent umbrella sleeves to be installed in the footpath outside their business.
“The free umbrella sleeves form part of our efforts to support local businesses and embrace a new way of gathering in a COVID Safe world,” Cr Modica said.
Mildura Regional Development CEO Brett Millington said: “As we head in to summer and look to 2021 and beyond we want to see local businesses bounce back as best they can.
Plans for how the $500,000 grant will be invested within the guidelines set by the Victorian government r are expected to be finalised in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile a range of other initiatives to reinvigorate the local business, entertainment and events scene are in the pipeline. A rolling calendar of small-scale events showcasing local talent is being planned in line with COVID Safe guidelines.
Mildura City Heart Manager Danielle Hobbs said the new COVID Safe way of life presented opportunities to reimagine events and entertainment in a whole new way.
Council has also waived fees and charges for a range of business registrations and permits this year and supported seven hospitality businesses to start or expand their outdoor dining footprint.