More than 70 per cent of community submissions received as part of a recent public exhibition have indicated strong support for a controlled trial to extend trading hours for select restaurants and small bars in Newcastle.
Council has voted unanimously to support a trial extending trading hours of restaurants in the city until midnight, and to 2am for small bars. It was first proposed in Newcastle’s After Dart Strategy in 2018.
This week councillors voted to endorse a trial extension from6 months to 12 months.
Residents had September to comment on the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s proposed amendment to the Newcastle Local Environment Plan to ease restrictions.
A total of 142 submissions were received, with 72%in support of the trial.
Twenty-four small bars and restaurants have opted into the trial as part of efforts to grow the night-time economy and support the hospitality industry’s recovery from the impact of COVID-19 related restrictions.
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said community feedback is an important component of the Night Time Economy trial and that the weight of the positive submissions reflects majority community support for the trial.
Research has also shown that encouraging a range of experiences with a wider cohort of visitors, makes for a safer city at night.
The intention of this trial is to revitalise the City’s economy and support a local industry that employs 13,280 people and generates more than $1.5 billion each year in economic activity.
City of Newcastle’s After Dark Strategy guides the development of a safe, diverse and vibrant night-time economy and the trial is one of its recommendations.”
Examples of low impact venues identified in the Newcastle After Dark – Night Time Economy Strategy include small bars, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, galleries, microbreweries, and comedy clubs.