Outdoor dining on the menu thanks to funding boost

An increase in outdoor dining is on the menu this summer with Louth County Council set to tackle the obvious challenges of the unpredictable Irish weather thanks to funding to the tune of €545,000.

The local authority received funding of €585,000 from the National Transport Authority under the Outdoor Infrastructure Fund last year which allowed for the creation of outdoor dining facilities by way of provision of parklets, parasols, picnic tables and planters.

Due to the success of that pilot scheme the NTA launched another scheme for 2021. Louth County Council again submitted an application and was again successful and has now been advised of further funding of € 545,000 for 2021. A range of measures will be completed in the main towns of Drogheda, Dundalk, Ardee as well as our county towns.

Under the 202O NTA Outdoor Infrastructure fund €190,000 was allocated to Dundalk.
This provided for ten Parklets at , Ruby’s Tearoom, Francis St, The Copper Kettle, Longwalk, Rock Salt, Earl St, Deli Lites, Clanbrassil St, XXI Ice, Clanbrassil st, Ma Brady’s, Bridge St, The Townhouse, Roden Place and 23 Seats, Crowe St with plans in place for two more to be provided in the town center.
To facilitate outdoor dining 12 parasols and 24 flower planters were installed in the core Town center of Dundalk. Flexi bollards were used in areas to provide areas for social distancing.

The remaining funding was spent countywide and included the provision of Parklets in Ardee, Blackrock, Carlingford and Annagassan.

In 2021 Fáilte Ireland launched an Outdoor Dining Enhancement Investment Scheme, to support Local Authorities and hospitality businesses with upgrading and enhancing streets and public spaces and implementing weather-proofing solutions which will facilitate year-round outdoor dining. This was greeted with much delight by Louth County Council who promptly submitted 2 applications for funding for Carlingford and Dundalk.

Fáilte Irelands Outdoor dining scheme 2021 – Application for funding of €119,000 for Earl Street Dundalk
Earl Street, Dundalk has been selected as one of Louth’s applications for funding under Fáilte Irelands Outdoor dining scheme with €119,000 earmarked to enhance facilities in that area. It is proposed that Earl Street will become a covered area using four large tulip style parasols. It is a widely used pedestrian street in the heart of Dundalk and is directly adjacent to the market square which form the centerpiece of the town centre.

Earl Street in right in the centre of the town and as such has a large number of amenities, eateries and restaurants close by.

In good weather both Earl Street and Market Square are well used throughout the day with people gathering drinking coffee, eating lunch and meeting up. This intervention will allow that natural congregation of people to continue in all types of weather.

Should the Council be successful the provision of an outdoor dining area will add a further dimension to the already well used Earl Street area, providing a focus and the opportunity for further dwell time. The proposed intervention is designed and positioned so that the covering could be used for a range of uses including, dining, picnicking, covered market and staging area for music festivals.

The 4 no. tulip parasols are primarily to allow businesses that do not have outdoor space to have an area that they can utilize in order to comply with covid-19 requirements.

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