Lake Macquarie’s food and dining scene is set for a vibrant boost with a new trial that makes it easier for cafés and food trucks to utilise council-owned land.
The 10-month pilot program called VibrantSCENE, will consider two options for food businesses by permitting outdoor dining on community land and street parking along with allowing food van operators to create an outdoor eating area within approved locations.
Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said the program will allow hospitality businesses to safely serve customers during these challenging times.
“We’re working hard with our local businesses to help them as much as possible by coming up with some innovative ideas to make it easier for them to expand their service options,” she said.
As part of the trial businesses are encouraged to make temporary place making improvements to the dedicated sites by adding fairy lights, outdoor gas heaters and furniture or music to their setups.
“I am really pleased that we are offering flexible options for our community and businesses, depending on the site,” Cr Fraser said.
“I’d encourage our local operators to make the most of this opportunity and embrace it by also coming up with ideas to bring some vibrancy to these spaces across our City.”
Danielle Mayes and Natalie Brown, Owners of Tangerine Events said they were excited to participate in this program and growing the Lake Mac Food Truck Crawl.
The council will be following the Australian and NSW Government COVID-19 guidelines in establishing these areas and businesses must have appropriate COVID Safe measures in place.
It will also continue to work with the operators to ensure the safety of businesses and customers.
During the trial program, the council will be asking for feedback from businesses and the community to help inform long-term policy decisions and future programming.
The VibrantSCENE program is free of charge. Local operators are encouraged to apply by completing an expression of interest form online on the Lake Macquarie City Council website.