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Sinn Féin passes motion for legislation to develop Café Culture

19 April, 2010

West Belfast MLA Paul Maskey has welcomed the news that Sinn Féin has successfully today called on the Assembly to bring forward legislation to enable the development of a ‘Café Culture’ in our towns and cities. Such legislation would allow those in the hospitality industry to use space at the front of their premises for outside dinning or hospitality in line with other European cities.   

Paul Maskey said:

“A café culture encourages the use of the frontage of building used in the hospitality industry such as cafés, hotels, bars and restaurants for leisure and dining.

“The fact that places like Derry ,Belfast or Omagh do not have specified legislation to allow for this shows we are lagging behind our European counterparts when it comes to providing for both the hospitality and tourism industry.

“There is current situation is one of frustration and confusion, where local councils and planning authorities at many times contradict each other in the advancement of such schemes. One day a venue gets congratulated on its outside facade and usage while on the very same day another venue is told to remove awnings and displays for its premises.

“There are many hotels, restaurants and cafes crying out for legislation to enable them to use space on the frontage of their premises. If you were to travel to any European country or check travel guides, one of the mains selling points is the look of a cosmopolitan city with pictures displaying outside dinning and hospitality.

“The benefits of such an approach are many. It encourages tourism, can improve the atmosphere and environment of our city centre’s and can help in the regeneration of urban space.

“However, most importantly in a time of economic downturn this can bring extra customers and much needed revenue to the hospitality industry.

“It is my view that this would not necessarily  be  a huge amount of effort required to bring forward thinking legislation together from the relevant bodies that such a scheme would fall under such as the Social Development department, the Department of the Environment, Department of Regional Development and local councils.

“This certainly needs to happen so that our villages, towns and cities can develop not just in line other European countries but with the wishes of local people.”


Rún/Motion - Creation of a Café Culture Society


That this Assembly calls on the Executive to bring forward legislation to enable the hospitality

industry to create a café culture society similar to that in other European cities, towns and

villages, to help promote the tourism, leisure and hospitality industries.

Mr P Maskey

Mr B McElduff

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