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Sheffield City Council Launches Café Barrier Scheme for Outdoor Seating

Hygge Cafe, Fitzalan Square
Hygge Cafe, Fitzalan Square. Photo: Sheffield City Council

A scheme has been launched by Sheffield City Council to encourage outdoor seating by providing barriers to cafés.

Café Barrier Scheme in Sheffield

The new scheme provides barriers to cafés and bars in order to separate customers from pedestrians and enable outdoor seating.

Outdoor seating is widely recognised as a key component of helping businesses continue to trade during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Barriers will be provided to businesses by the Make Yourself At Home campaign, which was launched by the council in response to restrictions during the easing of lockdown.

Cafés can apply to receive the barriers free of charge, subject to a small deposit.

“The introduction of the café pavement scheme has done wonders for us. The pub feels bigger and brighter and customers love the outside area especially when the sun is out and shining.

“It’s done well for our sales and has expanded our clientele and opened us up to more possibilities in the future.

“It has been well received from our customers both from a social distancing perspective and also as they are able to eat and drink in a managed environment and watch the world go by. It’s a great scheme for Sheffield.

“It has given us an edge that previously wasn’t there, and I do hope that others give it a go.”Sarah Baxter, Duty Manager at Sheffield Waterworks

A compliment to the Pavement Cafés scheme

Providing the barriers compliments the recently launched Pavement Cafés scheme.

The new initiative allows businesses to apply for a free temporary license to make use of space outside their building.

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For cafés this can provide extra seating, but other businesses can apply to implement waiting areas for safe social distancing measures too.

Over 50 businesses have already applied for the scheme.

“Hygge Coffee shop is a new business; we only opened in 2019. Any new business will know the financial challenges of opening, so it’s great to get support from the Council, who have helped with the outdoor seating and the  barriers help protect our customers and members of the public as they pass by.

“This has enabled us to expand the number of seats we have, as well as encourage customers to sit outside – something that the government are encouraging in the current climate. Fitzalan Square, where we’re situated, has also recently been renovated so looks fantastic, and it’s great that we can be a part of Sheffield’s newest little gem!”Alex Moore, Business Owner at Hygge Coffee Shop

Government funding

The campaign has been made possible by government funding. Sheffield City Council was given a share of £50million to support the safe reopening of high streets and commercial areas.

“We want to do all we can to support our local businesses in reopening following the Coronavirus lockdown. Making the most of outside space is a huge factor in both complying with social distancing guidelines and maximising trading potential.


“Our new café barriers are part of our campaign to encourage more people to enjoy our city once again whilst constantly raising awareness of the need for social distancing and behaving in a safe manner for everyone.. However, we have already seen high demand for the barriers, so I’d encourage businesses to request one as soon as possible to make the most of the summer weather!”Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment

How to apply for the Café Barrier Scheme

Businesses wishing to take advantage of the Café Barrier scheme can apply directly to Sheffield City Council.

Email [email protected] for full details.

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