Outdoor activation

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The Victorian Government’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package provided $87.5million to councils and businesses across Victoria in 2020.

In October 2021, the Victorian Government’s Outdoor Economy Package provided a further $54.5million to councils and $14.5m to businesses through the COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Voucher Program to assist with expanding local business' outdoor trading ability as a key COVID response.

This extended support will be delivered by council in two parts:

  • To immediately extend the life of existing outdoor eating and entertainment facilities and provide new facilities for other businesses to also operate outdoors, and
  • To establish semi-permanent and permanent outdoor precincts that support a broad range of industries and will be of lasting benefit to local communities.

In addition to outdoor eating and entertainment, the funding will support a broader range of industries that have been severely impacted by COVID restrictions (such as gyms, dance studios, personal/beauty services, and non-essential retail). For more information on how to access the COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Voucher Program please visit Business Victoria.

What we've achieved so far

The highlights from the project to date include:

  • Indigo Ambassador program providing a visual presence on weekends in support of businesses, residents and visitors;
  • Waiver of outdoor dining fees in 2021 for all businesses with existing permits;
  • 32 street performances during 2021 supporting local artists;
  • Temporary furniture installations, to replace hire furniture, for outdoor eating outside the old milk bar and bee school (corner Camp and Ford Streets) in Beechworth;
  • Temporary furniture installations including umbrellas, to replace hire furniture, for outdoor eating in High Street Yackandandah (supplied by local company Steel Road Custom Furniture);
  • Revamp, including seating and umbrellas, of Martins Lane in Chiltern to create  additional outdoor eating capacity;
  • Refresh of planter boxes in Beechworth and Rutherglen to improve the street appeal and the outdoor dining/eating environment;
  • Minor streetscape improvements such as umbrellas in Gollings Square in Rutherglen and relocation of a bike rack in Yackandandah;
  • A Landscape Plan for the Rutherglen Outdoor Eating and Events space at the Visitor Information Centre was finalised in early 2021 with stage one construction beginning in early July 2021. The custom brickwork installation by Chiltern Bricklaying is now complete as well as the landscaping and table installation. This work is part of a bigger concept to elevate the outdoor space of the centre for outdoor dining, events, visitors and the community. You can see the full landscape plan here(PDF, 4MB). The landscape plan is inspired by a red wine stain left by a glass or bottle and the core components of the plan are:
    • Red brick seating walls
    • Crushed red brick gravel pathways
    • Lawn and garden areas
    • Producers tasting pavilion
    • Shade structures
    • Teared seating and entertainment platforms

Phase Two of the Landscape Plan is yet to be funded.

  • A significant review of Indigo streetscapes to facilitate outdoor dining opportunities.

Looking ahead, activity will continue, including:

  • Planning for laneway activations in Beechworth and Yackandandah;
  • Additional streetscape improvements; and
  • Planning for another Chiltern parklet.