By Shelby Brooks

INVERLOCH’S A’Beckett Street will be transformed into a hub of entertainment when the south side of the road is blocked to traffic to allow for outdoor dining ‘parklets’ in December.

The project is a collaboration by the Inverloch Tourism Association (ITA) and Bass Coast Shire Council to allow for hospitality businesses in A’Beckett Street to operate at increased capacities in line with COVID-safe regulations.

ITA president Dom Brusamarello hoped it would become an annual event.

“Most seaside resorts our size, a coastal village, struggle to service the number of people over Christmas,” he said.

“This year will be a test case to see how it goes.”

The town centre concept map put forward by ITA was approved by council last week and finishing touches are being put on the traffic management plan which needs approval from Regional Roads Victoria, a council spokesperson said.

Council received $250,000 from the state government to make it possible from the Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package.

Ten car park spaces are being lost to the project, a sacrifice ITA board member Gary Tayler said was an easy one.

“We’ve really spent a lot of time to make sure everyone was happy,” he said.

“There’s not a single trader who isn’t behind it.”

As the plan stands, each hospitality business on the south side of the street will have a designated ‘parklet’ which extends out onto the road where they can place outdoor dining chairs and tables.

The parklets will have a mobility access entrance and be spaced out by planter boxes.

There will also be ‘My Special Place’ areas for the public, not designated to a specific business.

ITA is also focusing on beautifying the streetscape by placing fake grass and planter boxes and decorating barriers with photographs of Inverloch.

Mr Tayler said the association was looking at a start date of December 14, with plans to review the project in February with the likelihood it would continue through to the end of Easter.

A community drop-in session is being held tomorrow, (Wednesday, November 25) to assist businesses with applications to trade on the road and extend red lines into this public space.