Night time economy illuminated

Article image - Night time economy illuminated Lake Mac Feast 2018, the night time economy is not just bars and restaurants.

 Key findings from the Lake Macquarie City Council, New South Wales (NSW), consultation report ‘Creating a Vibrant Night-time Economy’ have shed light on the region’s potential for a diverse and thriving nightlife.

Council’s Manager Cultural Services, Jacqui Hemsley, welcomed the report, which captures more than 300 ideas from the community for bringing the regional City’s economy to life after dark.

“The report is the first stage in our work to develop the City’s first Night Time Economy Strategy and Action Plan.”

Skate comps with DJs, pop-up wine bars, outdoor cinemas, twilight markets and dedicated entertainment precincts are some of the ideas now on the table for inclusion in Council’s strategy.

The report also unearths concerns about personal safety at night and reveals that inadequate public transport and parking can be barriers to participation in evening activities.

“Night life in Lake Macquarie City has grown over the last decade, but without a strategy or framework in place, it’s difficult to measure the exact value this brings to the local economy through sales and employment, or to address barriers to further growth.”

The Council of Capital City Lord Mayors has identified that the night-time economy in Australia is a significant contributor to the national economy, employing more than three million people and generating almost $715 billion in turnover in 2017.

“The night time economy is bigger than most of us imagine and demands a broad and collaborative approach.

“When people are asked about nightlife, mostly thoughts turn to bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants, but the night time economy is naturally diverse and spans all economic activity that occurs after sunset, which includes gyms and other sporting activities, cinema, retail, medical, transport and cultural activity.”

To progress the strategy, Lake Macquarie Council has established an inter-departmental Night Time Economy Working Group, sent representatives to the Global Cities After Dark Conference in Sydney in November and is an active member of the NSW Local Government Night Time Economy Committee which has a strong focus on collaboration.