Hospitality businesses in Falmouth are calling for the Government to press head with its suggested 'al fresco revolution' plan that would allow restaurants and pubs to increase their outdoor space by putting tables on public spaces like car parks and pavements.

Falmouth's Town Team, which includes Falmouth Business Improvement District (BID) and the town council, is leading the charge as part of its initiatives to support businesses reopening in the town.

They want to see businesses given access to areas like part of the Church Street car park, The Moor and pavements.

It is measure seen as essential for the survival of businesses such as INDIdog Eatery, whose owner Vanessa Clark said: "We opened last summer after a heavy investment in a derelict building in a beautiful location in central Falmouth and then Covid happened. Unfortunately because we're so new we have slipped through every supportive gap and received zero funding.

"So what we're looking to now is to capitalise on the Government announcement to al fresco dine. So let's have an alfresco revolution and access the car park in Falmouth Church Street as quickly as possible.

"We've had a lot of support from the town council and Falmouth BID, they've been amazing, and what we now need is for them to be enabled to do that really, really quickly so that we can open up outside and extend our interior."

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Pubs like the Working Boat, part of the Greenbank Hotel on Falmouth's harbour front, recognise that they are fortunate to own extensive outdoor space – in their case a private quay on which now sits an airy marquee enabling them to safely serve food and drinks without actually opening the pub building.

Managing director Ben Young said: "We've got a very mature management and supervisory team who have been consistent for a number of years now.

"We're well used to dealing with the Sea Shanty Festivals, the Falmouth Week festivals everything else that Falmouth's famous for and does so well – so we're confident we can come back with a vengeance with a team that know what they're doing and we've got no plans to lose any positions at all in the hotel."

Falmouth Packet:

The Working Boat's marquee on the quay. Photo: The Working Boat

However, a critical business area dealt a blow by the Government's announcements last week are those who have a spa, health club, gym or personal therapy at their heart of their operation.

Spas, pools, gyms and health clubs must remain closed for now, causing critical concerns for hotels and leisure providers such as market-leading resorts like St Michaels, which overlooks Falmouth's Blue Flag status Gyllyngvase Beach.

The resort has invested more than £9 million in its new bedrooms, luxury leisure and wellbeing facilities in the last four years alone and is 'hand tied' at present, not being able to open either its spa or extensive health club, both key visitor-attractor elements of its operation.

Peter Churchill, head of operations, said: "The health club and the spa makes up a huge chunk of our bottom line for the resort and without these facilities open we won't be a resort that will stay open.

"So, speaking to the national governing bodies and getting their advice, we take all their advice for safety and we'll open when they tell us to but we're really dependent on being open soon."

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Their cause is among the multitude taken up by the Falmouth Town Team, which is lobbying hard for the safe but speedy reopening of leisure facilities.

As well as sitting on Cornwall Council's 'Recovery Business Cell' and alongside key tourism bodies helping to overcome the challenges facing the region, the team is working to ensure that the Falmouth re-opening and 'bounceback' is as swift and successful as possible.

The Town Team has already shared its Positive Engagement Plan with Cornwall Council, BIDs across the south west and beyond with a series of 'tool kits' to help town centre shops and businesses hit the road running when they opened up on June 15. The latest, a 'hospitality tool kit' has been sent out this week.

From branded hand sanitisers installed throughout the town and a new hope-filled 'Falmouth, Spirit of the Sea' rainbow logo, to liveried posters, window transfers and information signs at key locations to guide shoppers on social distancing, the combined effort is aimed at an optimistic and reassuring view to the future of the town.

Falmouth BID manager Richard Wilcox said: "Falmouth has been on the front foot with a partner-led approach – business and resident communities working alongside the Falmouth Town Team to meet the challenge head on and as effectively as possible.

"A huge amount of planning and provision has gone on behind the scenes to make Falmouth safe and welcoming to our local and further afield visitors - but of course the responsibility lies in all of us. That social responsibility, self-regulatory as it were, is absolutely vital through this process."