Culture News

Efforts Underway to Revitalise Night-Time Economy

Catherine Martin, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and Malcom Noonan, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, will co-host a workshop in The Chocolate Factory aimed at revitalising the night-time economy. Representatives from organisations relating to the sector will participate in the event. They will seek to identify how artistic, creative and community spaces can be supported by the planning and development system.

The Workshop is taking place in direct response to Action 16 in the Report of the Night-Time Economy Taskforce.

Challenges around planning, regulation and access to space were raised consistently by those working in the industry throughout the consultation process for the development of the Night-Time Economy Taskforce Report. Action 16 of the Night-Time Economy (NTE) Taskforce Report committed to holding a dedicated workshop to understand and determine the range and practical scope of planning and development-related actions that can support the NTE. The aim is to develop best practice guidance to assist Local Authorities and others to plan effectively for the NTE in a multi-use urban context.

Opportunities as well as challenges to creating new and diverse activity in our NTE will be identified and addressed collaboratively in the workshop and a number of key themes will be addressed including:

  • Town centre revitalisation, including outdoor spaces
  • Meanwhile use of vacant spaces
  • Cultural Infrastructure provision
  • Defining and identifying cultural spaces
  • Noise management, including agent of change principle
  • Planning and licensing

Invitees to the workshop include those working in the Night-Time Economy Sector, Give Us The Night, An Garda Síochána, Local Authorities, members of the NTE Taskforce including Fáilte Ireland, the Arts Council, representatives from the retail sector, VFI, LVA, government departments and agencies and other representative groups.

The workshop will include presentations from Jo Cox Browne, founding Director of Night Time Economy Solutions Ltd, passionate about helping towns and cities become safer, vibrant and more attractive at night. Jo has experience of working in partnership with police forces, police and crime commissioners, Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), local authorities, hospitals, universities, licensed premises and voluntary organisations to help them design innovative solutions that can reduce crime and vulnerability.

Julie McLaughlin, co-founder of Jando Design, and artist based in The Chocolate Factory and also manager of the venue will speak at this event and will outline the story of how they overcame the various challenges to opening this innovative and creative venue.

Speaking, Minister Martin said, “we have heard loud and clear throughout the development of the Night-Time Economy Taskforce Report that we need more artistic, creative and community spaces which can operate and support the Night-Time Economy and we all want to see our planning and development system supporting this need. Cultural spaces are really important for our communities and individuals and this importance shouldn’t be underestimated. It can bring communities together, make people feel more engaged and part of something bigger than themselves. We want to use the collective knowledge within this room today, to look at challenges and potential solutions. Helping to develop a more vibrant Night-Time Economy is not the job of any one department or Minister – it involves all of us working together and trying to make things happen.”

Minister of State Noonan said, “the Night-Time Economy is a key economic sector of our cities and towns and also one of the things that makes them great places to live in and visit. Supporting this through a Town Centre First approach that maximises the use of vacant buildings and encourages the development of quality public spaces is part of our agenda to invest in regeneration and amenities that benefit local communities in the widest sense. In doing this, it’s important too that a vibrant night time economy doesn’t’t impact negatively on town centre living. Issues such as safety and noise can be addressed through collaborative actions led by local government. We need to ensure that the necessary procedures and systems that regulate the Night-Time Economy are fit for purpose and can respond to the needs of those working in the area. Through this workshop, we can learn from the many voices interested in seeing a lively and successful Night-Time Economy maintained – hearing the different experiences and suggestions on how changes can be made. I look forward to these learnings being drawn together to develop improvements and best practice approaches that reflect the energy and commitment of those attending.”

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