Free licences for outdoor seating to support Lewes district businesses

Lewes and Eastbourne District Councils have announced that hospitality businesses in the district can now apply for free to place seats and tables outside their premises like the Riverside, Lewes in the picture.

Businesses serving food and drink – such as pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, snack bars, and ice cream parlours – are eligible to request temporary outdoor seating in suitable locations. 

This follows a recent law change which means borough councils can now issue these licences and waive the usual fees. 

Councillor James MacCleary, Leader of the Council and Cabinet member Regneration and Prosperity, said: “I want to ensure businesses are getting as much support as possible to help them through the many difficulties posed by Covid-19.

“By making these licences available to eligible businesses free of charge, we hope to give district businesses a much-needed boost to support their recovery plans.”

Councillor Johnny Denis, Cabinet member for Communities and Customers, said: “The summer season is well and truly here, with people wanting to make the most of the sunshine, so I hope  businesses take up on this offer to extend their service outdoors. 

“Getting a licence is a quick process and completely free of charge.” 

Once issued, the licences last until September 30, 2021.  

For more information or to apply visit

Completed applications must be submitted by email only to with a layout plan of your intended pavement use and proof of your public liability insurance.