Businesses across Liverpool have welcomed news that Castle Street and Bold street will stay pedestrianised until September.
Liverpool City Council scheme ‘Without Walls’ was launched in June last year in partnership with Liverpool BID Company.
The scheme included a £450,000 fund given as grants for businesses to create outdoor dining spaces.
The project was designed to help struggling businesses generate additional sales despite restrictions.
Both streets were closed to cars and grants were given to restaurants to cover outdoor seating costs.
The outdoor spaces were transformed into al-fresco dining spaces with a total of 1,617 additional seats.
Restaurants are now preparing to re-open on April 12 after the third lockdown since the beginning of the pandemic.
Helen Bamford, Sales and Events Manager at Gino D’Acampo’s restaurant on Castle Street is looking forward to opening.
She said: “Everyone seems to be pretty excited about returning.
“The 12th April is fully booked already and that first weekend is too.”
Paddy Smith, Director of Red & Blue restaurants, including Salt House Bacaro on Castle Street, is also looking forward to the opening.
He said: “I think the biggest thing is being in the restaurants and bringing life back to them.
“Restaurants should be full and busy.
“When you walk in there and they’re empty and cold and sad, it’s depressing, it’s been a tough twelve months for sure.”
However, Helen believes the Without Walls campaign has made Castle Street and Bold Street destination areas.
“Last summer there was very much a European feel to it, the sun was shining and people were just walking up and down.
“I don’t think that would have had the same impact if there were cars and traffic going down the road.”
After Salt House Bacaro applied for the Without Walls Grant last year, they were able to purchase outdoor furniture.
Paddy said: “We’ve got an awning outside Bacaro now which we never used to have.
“It’s probably the difference between opening and not opening, actually.
“If you haven’t got the cover it’s a bit grim.”