Bristol’s new Night Time Economy Champion chosen


By Lucas Arthur, Music Editor

Carly Heath has been named as the city’s new night time economy advisor, a role created by Bristol City Council to spearhead recovery efforts for the struggling sector as lockdown measures ease.

The night time economy consists of businesses which operate between the hours of 6PM and 6AM. Locally, it directly or indirectly supports the livelihoods of 91,600 people, representing 34% of the city’s total jobs.

Heath will be tasked with helping local stakeholders to ‘recover from the challenges associated with Covid-19 and support them to re-open safely,’ and mapping out ‘a longer view of how Bristol’s night time economy can support the economic, cultural and social success of our city.’

In addition, she will chair the council’s Bristol @ Night group, an independent advisory panel consisting of professionals from across the sector. Heath herself has over 20 years experience within Bristol’s cultural sector: first as the founder of a local promotions agency, then in roles at the Bristol Beacon (formerly Colston Hall) and in a research position at UWE Bristol, investigating the effects of the pandemic on cultural industries.

Marti Burgess, co-chair of the Bristol @ Night panel and owner of Lakota, said that it “was clear from both her application and interview that Carly has a deep understanding of Bristol’s night time economy, but also how it crosses over into the wider culture sector.”

Carly Heath said, ‘I’m honoured to be appointed as Bristol’s Night-Time Economy Advisor. I have passionately worked in the industry my whole career and look forward to advocating Bristol’s beautifully rich after-dark culture. This position is a unique opportunity to amplify the voice of our night-time economy and connect with businesses, city officials, developers, and the wider public. Promoting a vibrant nightlife is important for tourism, but also for the social fabric of the city as a space to congregate and share ideas.’

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The post was announced 6 weeks ago as part of a wider project that will see Bristol City Council working alongside music consultancy Sound Diplomacy, funded by a number of developers and local investors, to develop a framework that capitalises on the cultural, social and economic benefits of Bristol’s nightlife.

Data from Bristol City Centre Business Improvement District (BID) shows that spending in the night time economy fell 56 per cent between the first and last quarters of 2020, from £77 million to £34 million, driven by lockdowns and restrictions to hospitality.

Hopes for the industry have risen following the successes of the UK vaccination program and announcements of nationwide lockdown easing. Outdoor hospitality venues are set to open from the 12th of April, followed by indoor venues on the 17th of May. By the 21st of June, all restrictions on social contact are intended to be removed.

Featured: Bristol City Council

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