Bristol @ Night Panel Draft Vision Statement


  • Like many other UK cities, Bristol is about to enter a phase of significant change. More and more development is taking place in the city, with more people choosing to live in the city centre. Transport infrastructure is also evolving, with people moving around and inhabiting the city in different ways. Given this, it is essential to ensure that the vitality of the night time economy and what it contributes to our city’s cultural offer is preserved and supported to expand and flourish.


  • The night time economy is worth 6% of UK gross domestic product or £66 billion annually, according to figures from the Night Time Industries Association.


  • A broad definition of the night time economy (NTE) is that it occurs between 5pm and 5am and involves a wide range of leisure activities (pubs, clubs, live music, cinemas, theatres, retail, cafes and restaurants) as well as the services that exist to support them (policing, transport, enforcement, street cleansing including rubbish removal and health services).


  • The NTE can be considered as being split into early evening economy (shopping, dining etc.) and late night economy (clubs, pubs) – but naturally there is crossover between the two.


  • The Bristol @ Night Panel will comprise of stakeholders from across the city. It will be independent of Bristol City Council, but with cabinet, member and executive officer representation. The panel will meet quarterly to collectively reach solutions for some of the key challenges facing Bristol’s night time economy. Lead by its Chair, Marti Burgess, it will set out some ambitions and key achievements to accomplish in the short, medium and long term.


  • The role of Bristol City Council is to ensure that the panel acts as an advisory group to the Mayor, Cabinet and Executive Office, informing policy and presenting to key officers. The purpose of the board is not simply to make representations to Bristol City Council, but to take collective responsibility for the challenges facing the night time economy. The board will also ensure that its voice is heard by other key stakeholders in the city, including healthcare providers, Avon and Somerset Police.


  • The work of the panel will feed into Bristol City Council’s City Centre Revitalisation Strategy, which aims to improve the look and feel of the city centre and ensure that it is vibrant for both residents and visitors to the city.


Potential Themes to be addressed by the Panel:

  • Access and inclusivity -Proposals for development should be designed so that all people including older people, disabled people and those who feel excluded for socio-economic reasons can enjoy the opportunities on offer and engage with the cultural offer. Developments should ensure they can be used safely, easily and with dignity by all. They should be convenient and welcoming with no disabling or other barriers to access. That way everyone can use them independently without undue effort, separation or special treatment. Developments should be flexible and responsive. -The NTE should be inclusive and welcoming for families to participate in evening activities.


  • Quality Employment -The panel should work with Bristol City Council, trade unions, businesses and other key stakeholders to improve employment standards and promote economic inclusion across the night time economy.


  • Agent of Change / Development -Development proposals should seek to manage noise without placing unreasonable restrictions on development. They should also not add unduly to the costs and administrative burdens of existing businesses. Acoustic and other design measures should be used to mitigate noise and other impacts. -There should be no prospect of unreasonable neighbour complaints, licensing restrictions or threat of closure. -Draft policy on Agent of Change is now contained within Bristol City Council’s Local Plan review, which will be fully ratified in 2021.
  • Safety and Transport -The panel will work to ensure the NTE is safe for those who enjoy it and are employed within it. This includes advising on public health issues, including public safety around the harbourside and substance misuse. -The Bristol Transport strategy must take into consideration people’s enjoyment and safety of the night time economy. Travel at night-time must be safe and convenient. For night-time venues, this means ensuring they are in locations well-served with adequate, safe and visible night-time transport. -Night-time public transport needs to be coordinated between different stakeholders. These include local authority planning and transport, the taxi trade, private hire and local minicab businesses.