Today marks the beginning of a trial which aims to provide a lift to the local economy through the extension of trading hours at 23 low impact small bars and restaurants in Newcastle.
The NSW Government-led trial sees trading hours of restaurants in the city extended until midnight and 2am for small bars.
City of Newcastle is supporting the trial in line with its endorsed After Dark Strategy and is leading a data collection project which includes a baseline community survey which has attracted close to 1,000 responses.
The project also includes a survey of patrons visiting the participating bars and restaurants, and an app for venues to log information about business performance.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the trial was a positive step as one of the key recommendations in City of Newcastle’s After Dark Strategy to create a safe a vibrant night time economy.
“City of Newcastle’s Newcastle After Dark Strategy was unanimously supported by Council in 2018 and is a plan for creating a safe, vibrant and diverse night-time economy,” the Lord Mayor said.
“This trial offers people an opportunity to enjoy Newcastle’s emerging small venue culture, support local business and help unlock our night-time economy.
“It is an important measure to support the local hospitality and entertainment industry’s recovery from the impact of COVID-19 related restrictions which have caused a dramatic decrease in revenue for venues.
“We expect the 23 participating small bars and restaurants will see a positive outcome through increased patronage and activation in the city.”
The community is encouraged to enjoy the extended hours responsibly and to provide feedback to City of Newcastle on their experiences of Newcastle’s stimulated nightlife.
“Community feedback is an important component of the trial as it provides invaluable local data to evaluate its impact,” Cr Nelmes said.
“During the trial period, we are gathering a range of data to determine the social and economic benefit of the relaxed restrictions. One of these data sources is an in-venue patron survey.
“The online survey will be accessible via a QR code scanned in participating venues allowing patrons to have their say on their experiences in Newcastle after dark.
“These insights are in addition to feedback provided in the Newcastle After Dark Survey which has helped form a baseline understanding of the night time economy ahead of the trial.”