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First parklet will help hospitality venues

Workers, visitors and residents of Colmore Business District will be able to enjoy a new outdoor space as Colmore BID installs its first parklet, providing nearby hospitality venues with more facilities to serve customers.

The new community space, which is located on Waterloo Street outside Purecraft Bar and Kitchen, is part of a larger scheme to support the district’s leisure and hospitality industry that has suffered tremendously during lockdown.

The parklet has capacity for around 20 people within four defined areas: seating with a low table for coffee and drinks, an area for dining with a high table, standing room only, and an area that has been specifically designed to be accessible for wheelchair users.

Located across two parking bays outside of Purecraft Bar and Kitchen, the area features raised seating amongst timber walls, providing additional protection from highway traffic. The framework also ensures the parklet is more visible to larger vehicles in the area making deliveries.

Colmore BID has worked with EventMen to design the parklet for this specific location, ensuring it meets relevant planning, licencing, counter terrorism and equalities standards. It has also commissioned Birmingham City Council’s award-winning nursery team to add floral decorations, keeping with the BIDs ethos to ‘green’ the district, much like its popular flower towers.

The new site is being used as a test for the district’s parklet project, which has been welcomed with open arms by other cities who have implemented similar schemes. If deemed a success, further parklets will be installed, potentially saving hundreds of jobs across the district.

Michele Wilby, CEO of Colmore BID, said: “Parklets is a project that Colmore BID has been working on for some time now, pre-dating the Coronavirus pandemic. With the lockdown in place, we reassessed the viability of the scheme, making alterations which would provide additional support to leisure and hospitality venues in the area.

“Bars, restaurants, cafes and other eateries have been ravaged by the lockdown and while many have re-opened, socially distancing does not allow businesses to operate at full capacity, meaning they are missing out on vital income.

“The parklets will be managed by Colmore BID with support from businesses in the area. Venues can encourage their customers to take drinks and food into the spaces, allowing them to increase their capacity to serve customers.

“The spaces aren’t just for use by people visiting nearby venues though. You can have meetings with colleagues, catch up with friends or even take your own packed lunch out there. We want these spaces to become a permanent feature within the city and have plans for many many more.”

Matt Lockren, general manager at Purecraft Bar & Kitchen, said: “We’re really excited to be working with Colmore BID to offer a fantastic opportunity to guests from across Birmingham to sample our great beer and fantastic food in an alfresco setting, and to be the first is a great honour.”

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