The Government has agreed that Level 5 (with some amendments) as set out in the Plan for Living with COVID-19 will continue to apply nationally until further notice. The Government has clearly stated that there is a continued need to minimise the level of mobility and congregation of people in order to reduce all opportunities for transmission of the virus.

Please note that our library buildings have reopened to the public for Browsing Services and Contact & Collect since Monday, May 10th. Please see Library Page.

Consequently, and in line with current public health guidance, the Offices of Offaly County Council are closed for walk-in services to support this reduced mobility policy.

Public access cannot be facilitated during LEVEL 5 restrictions. Therefore, Offaly County Council services will be available by telephone, email, online post and only where absolutely necessary and in exceptional circumstances by appointment. Please read latest information.

Outdoor Seating and Accessories Scheme

The Outdoor Seating and Accessories for Tourism and Hospitality Business’ scheme focuses on providing a level of financial support to tourism and hospitality businesses in our town centres. This scheme is for the purchase or upgrade of additional outdoor equipment and, therefore, increase the outdoor dining capacity for the summer of 2021. This scheme will financially assist and support independent tourism and hospitality business owners to create outdoor dining experiences in a regulated and accessible manner.  Funding under the scheme is only available to existing businesses. All applicants will be required to comply with planning codes, legislative requirements and other compliance requirements.

Who can apply?

The scheme is open to attractions, hotels, restaurants, cafes, public houses or other tourism and hospitality business establishments. You must have a Section 254 license or be placing the outdoor seating & accessories within your own business premises. If you do not currently have a Section 254 license but wish to apply for one to avail of this scheme, please contact the Planning Dept at: e-mail – or telephone – 057 9346800.

Please note that the premises must have no commercial rates outstanding to Offaly County Council or must have a payment plan in place.

What Items are considered eligible for the scheme?

  •  Tables
  • Chairs
  • Umbrellas
  • Awnings
  • Pergolas
  • Gazebos
  • Retractable roofs
  • Electric heaters
  • Screens/windbreaks
  • Plant stands
  • Wooden Platforms, decking or alternative surfaces


The tables and chairs or other furniture shall be of robust and stable construction to prevent movement in adverse weather conditions and shall be agreed with Offaly County Council, prior to purchase.

If tables and chairs or other furniture have been purchased prior 12th April 2021, it must meet the criteria as outlined above. 


Marquees will not be included or gazebos/pergolas with sides.


Screens/windbreakers must be agreed with Offaly County Council in advance of purchase and will be subject to the following conditions;


·        Screens to be plain, coloured or neutral canvas type, not more than 1 metre high, spanning between or framed by simple metal type posts.

·        Screens to be manufactured from flame/fire retardant material.

·        Base plates or weighted bases to screening posts must not extend outside the licensed area.

·        All screens, posts and bases must be demountable.

·        Screens must be sufficiently robust to prevent overturning in adverse weather conditions.

·        No advertising apart from the name of the premises to be used on the screens, without the permission of Offaly County Council.


All relevant Planning Permission must be in place prior to completing an application.

What is the maximum grant?

The scheme will provide for up to 75% of the ex-VAT cost of equipment purchased/installed with a maximum allowable contribution of up to €4,000 per applicant.

What is the closing date?

Applications must be submitted online on or before September 30th 2021.

More info  The Outdoor Seating and Accessories for Tourism & Hospitality Business Scheme is being administered through Local Authorities. The Local Authority has the right to use their discretion in regard to the process and the development of appropriate terms and conditions that are appropriate for their respective streetscapes, businesses etc.

If you have any further queries on this scheme please email;

Apply online here