A thriving night time economy offers substantial socio-economic benefits, from boosting economic development, fostering community inclusion and resilience, to enhancing the place making potential of our cities. In recognition of these benefits, Randwick City Council has developed a holistic framework for cultivating and diversifying the City’s night time economy, with a focus on attracting people of all ages and interests, supporting local businesses, and responding proactively to challenges and change.

The Randwick City Night Time Economy Strategy is a first for the Randwick City Local Government Area situated in the eastern suburbs of Metropolitan Sydney. It has been prepared to address present day challenges associated with a night time economy that is lacking in diversity and geographic spread, with little else to do after dark besides drinking and dining. The Strategy employs a multi-pronged approach, bringing together a strong research base, industry advice, results from extensive town centre audits of evening activity, as well as community ideas and experiences derived from a successful perception survey.

A critical aspect of Strategy development has been input from the Randwick Night Time Economy Advisory Committee, comprising industry leaders representing live music, performance, event management, temporary activations and public domain safety. The Committee has been instrumental in providing a cross-sector approach, allowing Council to further understand the opportunities, challenges and synergies between various elements that contribute to a thriving, sustainable and inclusive night time economy. This in turn has helped inform realistic and practical initiatives to support a broad range of night time offerings and activities that celebrate the unique identity of Randwick City and its diverse community.

Council best practice approach to planning for a balanced night time economy, with its strong emphasis on industry collaboration and community involvement, has resulted in strategies promoting the diversification of activities and experiences, safer accessible night friendly town centres, creative activation of underutilised spaces, and ongoing monitoring, promotion and evaluation. Council’s process for developing its Night Time Economy Strategy focuses on:

• Effective long term planning required to promote diversification, inclusivity and participation
• Lessons learnt in communicating and consulting with the community and business stakeholders
• Important role of an industry partnership approach in fostering understanding and encouraging constructive input; and
• Practicalities and process of translating broad strategies into successful outcomes.

Abstract from ICTC 2019 Conference
Author: Stella Agagiotis, Coordinator Strategic Planning, Randwick City Council