Swindon Borough Council is offering to help businesses with outdoor seating and trading.
With lockdown restrictions easing and more businesses reopening, the local authority says it wants to help them comply with social distancing rules.
New Government guidelines have removed the need for businesses to obtain planning permission to create outdoor seating areas, with a new fast-track temporary pavement licence system now in place.
Councillor Maureen Penny, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Maintenance and Waste Services, said: “We know that COVID-19 has posed many challenges for businesses so we want to support them as much as we possibly can as they begin to consider how they can operate in the safest and most economically viable way.
"This relaxation of the rules will allow businesses to implement social distancing guidelines more easily and help them to welcome more customers to enjoy their services.
“Applications from hospitality businesses in Swindon who feel these changes in restrictions will help them to run their business safely will be welcomed and we hope to help as many of them as possible.”
Under normal circumstances, when a business wishes to place tables, chairs and other temporary furniture outside its property, planning permission and a pavement licence are often required and this can take several weeks to secure.
However, a new relaxation in rules means applications can now be processed in five working days in a bid to help hospitality businesses such as pubs, restaurants and cafes to open and operate in a safe and economically viable way.
Temporary pavement licences will be valid for 12 months, and businesses must ensure they don’t block pavements or fire escapes.
Hospitality businesses can submit their applications to Swindon Borough Council by getting in touch with the team at firstname.lastname@example.org, where queries can also be answered.
Further information about the other support available to businesses, including how to access government grants, can be found at www.swindon.gov.uk/covidbusiness