Extra seating to meet demand for outside dining space in Alnwick

Steps are being taken to install additional public seating in Alnwick town centre.

Friday, 28th August 2020, 7:00 am

The measures reflect the high demand for outdoor dining areas with coronavirus-related guidelines in mind.

Cllr Martin Harrington, speaking at a full meeting of Alnwick Town Council, said: “Since the Covid lockdown lifted we have had an influx of visitors to the town but you’re now seeing them with their fast food and there’s nowhere for them to sit.”

His proposal that the council purchase five new ‘heritage style’ benches for the Shambles area near the Market Place was approved despite some misgivings from other councillors about the suitability of the location next to the public toilets and a busy road.

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Northumberland Hall, Alnwick.

Cllr Sue Patience said: “It’s a great idea for more seats but I am a little concerned about seating at the Shambles.

"There’s not a lot of space there and I don’t think I would want to sit next to the toilets with cars going past.”

Cllr Peter Broom also raised concerns about the possibility of them being a target for anti-social behaviour.

"It might encourage youngsters to congregate there at night-time,” he said.

But Cllr Geoff Watson said: “We can’t have too many seats in the town centre, especially now when we should be encouraging people to sit outside.”

Members heard that extra seating is already provided on market days.

However, the council is looking at the possibility of extra seating in the Market Place and on Narrowgate.

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