PUBS, bars, restaurants and hotels in the Wee County are gearing up to re-open outdoor spaces as restrictions ease.

A number of applications to extend outdoor areas, change layouts and alter opening hours to help facilitate the re-opening of the hospitality sector have been approved by Clackmannanshire Council's Licensing Board.

The board met yesterday, Tuesday April 27, after coronavirus restrictions eased at the start of this week, allowing hospitality businesses to serve alcohol outdoors.

The Royal Oak hotel in Alloa was one business looking to make the most of the changes and its occasional license was approved with conditions.

The hotel, bar and restaurant was looking to utilise part of its car parking space at the back of the building as a drinking area.

Elsewhere, Hillfoots RFC's occasional license application was also granted to allow the club to use its car park temporarily to dispense alcohol.

Supporting the application, Councillor George Matchett said: “This is a well-respected local group who have a first-class history in relation to what they promote.”

The No 5 Inn in Alva was also hoping to use its private car park area to the front of the building as an outside drinking area and it is understood this application was also granted, subject to conditions.

Plans from Braehead Golf Club, seeking to extend and redesign its outdoor drinking area, were also approved with conditions.

A council officer told the licensing board: “I don't have any concerns about the premises, they are aware that managing a larger outdoor area requires close supervision...”

The Holly Tree Inn in Menstrie also applied to use a side area to the west of the building as an outdoor drinking area with two rows of eight tables each, all placed two metres apart.

On the long run the inn is hoping the make the occasional license permanent.

An agent on behalf of the applicants told the board: “The application is trying to address the present Covid restrictions whilst being able to offer patrons and customers some kind of facility in this period.

“It comes from the fact that actually – perhaps rather unusually – there's never been an outdoor drinking facility at these premises and certainly in terms of the permanent recognition of that we are working on a proper variation application, which will be submitted to your honours before too very long.”

The application was approved with conditions.