Today, I co-hosted a workshop in The Chocolate Factory aimed at revitalising the night-time economy. Representatives from organisations relating to the sector participated in the event. They sought to identify how artistic, creative, and community spaces can be supported by the planning and development system.
Opportunities as well as challenges to creating new and diverse activity in our NTE were identified and addressed collaboratively in the workshop and a number of key themes were 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
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 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 today, we learned 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 who attended. Further info: gov.ie - Efforts underway to revitalise night-time economy and increase cultural and community spaces through improved planning system (www.gov.ie)