Senator Aisling Dolan - Strong Voice, New Vision.

Dolan welcomes new fund to expand Outdoor Dining & Seating for Co. Roscommon

April 20, 2021

Dolan welcomes new fund to expand Outdoor Dining & Seating for Co. Roscommon

Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin TD and Fáilte Ireland have today (March 31st) announced details of a new €17million Scheme for developing outdoor dining capacity nationwide.


The Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme comprises two parts and will be delivered in partnership between Fáilte Ireland and Local Authorities across the country. Part One of the Scheme will provide funding for individual tourism and hospitality businesses to develop and increase their own outdoor seating capacity. Funding allocated under Part Two will enable Local Authorities to develop permanent outdoor public dining spaces in towns and urban centres, similar to those that exist in various European cities.  


Senator Aisling Dolan noted


‘This will be a boost for hotels, cafés, restaurants, any places that serve food especially as we are moving towards a safe reopening in the next few months. By being able to increase dining and seating capacity outdoors this will mean more sustainable options for businesses and help with safe physical distancing. It will be wonderful in the summer months to have more options for outdoor seating in our towns across Roscommon’


‘This funding programme has two parts


‘Firstly, tourism and hospitality businesses can apply for ‘Outdoor Seating and Accessories’.  Applicants can apply for a grant of up to €4,000 (up to 75% of the ex-VAT cost of equipment purchased/installed). Costs for outdoor tables, chairs, umbrellas, electric heaters, screens/windbreaks, plant stands and wooden platforms will be covered under the Scheme.   Expenditure must be incurred between 1st April 2020 and 30th September 2021 and the scheme will open for applications on April 12th 2021 through Local Authority websites



‘Secondly each local authority can apply for up to €200,000 to develop medium to large scale permanent public dining spaces. The ‘Weatherproofing & Outdoor Dining Infrastructure’ will fund two locations in County Roscommon.


‘Now is the time to support businesses to get ready for re-opening in a safe way. I encourage businesses to apply for this fund and I know people can’t wait to have the opportunity to enjoy a good meal at their favourite place. With this fund covering umbrellas & electric heaters, it will make it more comfortable to eat outdoors. Our towns and villages will have a more European café style experience and it will also give us more choice.’



Announcing the Scheme Minister Catherine Martin said: 


“The aim is to support jobs and businesses and to transform appropriate outdoor spaces within our cities and towns as welcoming, vibrant places that will help support economic recovery.”



Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland added:   

“Each Local Authority can apply for up to €200,000 under this element of the scheme. We have been working closely with the County and City Management Association (CCMA) on behalf of the Local Authorities to design a scheme that will be efficient and practical.  We look forward to seeing the results across the country.”



Moira Murrell, Chair of the CCMA Rural Development, Community, Tourism, Culture and Heritage (RCTCH) Committee stated:


“Local Authorities are looking forward to administering this Scheme for individual businesses, as well as delivering year-round all-weather outdoor seating options to boost the appeal and attractiveness of our cities and towns.