09 Nov 2018

Housing and Planning

Launch of new Bristol @ Night voice

A collective voice representing Bristol’s diverse night-time economy is expected to emerge from a new initiative launching next week.

The Bristol @ Night advisory panel will launch on Monday (12 November) to bring together local people who work across the city’s unique and inclusive night life, from entertainment venues and bars through to the emergency services that keep everyone safe.

As more people choose to live centrally, the new panel will work to address some of the key challenges Bristol is facing as it grows to ensure the vitality and diversity of night-time activities are not only preserved, but are also supported to expand and flourish.

Speakers from across the industry will be invited to contribute their views and experiences at the panel launch at City Hall on Monday, where community representatives will share their priorities and discuss recommendations for enhancing Bristol’s night-time business and leisure activities.

Cllr Nicola Beech, Cabinet Member for Spatial Planning and City Design at Bristol City Council, will introduce the new initiative, which will be independent from the council but its members will be empowered to feed into existing policies and strategies.

Cllr Beech said: “Bristol is a massively successful cultural city – the bar is already set really high. We attract a diverse range of people, offering a unique, vibrant experience to visitors and our own residents. It’s important we reflect that diversity in our night life. Protecting that character and vitality amid rapid change is challenging and requires collaboration with those who have helped shape Bristol’s successes so far.

“We are already taking positive steps as we review the council’s planning polices and recommend introducing a principle to ensure developers properly soundproof new properties.

 “We want to see our night-time economy flourish in the face of change and I am convinced establishing a collective, independent voice will give us the right foundation to build from. 

“This is not about creating a council led body; I hope this new panel will ensure wider voices are being heard on all matters concerning the night-time economy. We need to future proof our fantastic night life and put in place the right conditions for it to grow safely and authentically.”

Michael Dugher, CEO of UK Music, will be attending the launch to talk about some of the national challenges facing the music industry. He said:

“Bristol has a fantastic musical heritage and a brilliant live music scene with some great venues.  However, like other towns and cities, Bristol faces challenges when it comes to safeguarding and protecting venues that are under threat.  At UK Music we fought successfully to change the law to give music venues greater protection from developers and will continue to battle to help keep music thriving in Bristol.”

The launch event will also introduce the independent chair of the new panel, Marti Burgess, a solicitor who has been involved in the Bristol’s night time economy since the early 90s. She added:

“Bristol is a great city to live in and one of its best assets is its nightlife.  It does not matter what age you are or what you are in to, Bristol caters for all with its great restaurants, bars, pubs  and of course its fantastic nightclubs and live venues.  All of this is underpinned by our anarchic approach to culture and creativity which has resulted in our rich and diverse music scene.  Long may it continue, I see this panel as an important step to ensuring that those of us working within Bristol night-time economy are heard when big decisions are being made about the development of the city.”

To find out more about the Bristol @ Night advisory panel and how to get involved, email Cllr Beech at Cllr.Nicola.Beech@bristol.gov.uk.