First ‘Night Czar’ to be recruited to help city’s clubs and bars bounce back from devastation of Covid

February 5, 2021

Bristol is to appoint its first night time economy czar to champion its clubs, pubs, restaurants and events venues as they look to recover from the devastating effects of Covid-19 pandemic.

The night-time economy (NTE) advisor will sit in the Bristol City Council’s City Office and work closely with the Mayor’s Office. 

They will also chair the Bristol @ Night group, the independent advisory panel first set up to tackle challenges facing the sector.

The council said the successful candidate, who will work for two-and-a-half days a week for a £50,000 salary on a pro rata basis, would become a high-profile ambassador, acting as a voice for a sector ravaged by lockdown restrictions and helping to spearhead its response.

They will develop a vision and roadmap to support Bristol’s world-famous cultural venues, bars, restaurants and clubs, including the city’s many independent businesses and its wealth of local talent, positioning Bristol as a leading and resilient 24-hour city.

The role is similar to those set up in London in 2016 and Manchester two years later and reflects the strength and vibrancy of Bristol’s night time economy before the pandemic and the key part it will play in the city’s recovery.

Around 91,600 jobs are directly or indirectly supported by the city’s night-time economy – 34% of the city’s overall jobs.

And while going out at night has always been an important part of life for those who live, work and study in Bristol, Covid-19 has left many night-time businesses, and the artists who perform in them, struggling to survive. 

The Music Venues Trust estimates that for every £10 spent on admission to a grassroots music venue, a further £17 is spent elsewhere in the city, highlighting the scale of its importance and the need for Bristol to take action to help the recovery.

Following the agreement of the Bristol @ Night panel, the new appointee will champion the sector and work with city partners to make sure the way Bristol functions at night is considered in decision making.

The council is working with music consultancy Sound Diplomacy on a wider framework on the night time economy. Funded by number of developers and local investors, it aims to capitalise on the cultural, social and economic benefits that night-time industries offer the city.

Cabinet member for strategic design and city planning Nicola Beech, pictured above left, said: “The devastating impacts of Covid-19 have brought into sharp focus the importance of culture, music and the night-time economy in our city.

“What happens between 6pm and 6am forms a key part of our city’s offering to those who choose to live, work and study here.

“Working with the Bristol @ Night panel, the night-time economy advisor will influence change and spearhead the recovery of the sector. They will bring together an internationally celebrated night-time economy in Bristol and become an ambassador to celebrate and promote our city for both residents and visitors to enjoy.” 

Marti Burgess, co-chair of the Bristol @ Night panel and owner of the city’s iconic Lakota nightclub, pictured right, said: “The night-time economy is the fifth biggest industry in the country, employing more than 8% of the UK’s workforce and it is part of what makes Bristol unique.

“The recruitment of the NTE advisor and the commissioning of the work to be done by Sound Diplomacy is great step forward for Bristol at a time when the night-time economy in the city is virtually on its knees because of the pandemic.

“The Sound Diplomacy project and dedicated NTE advisor working with the Mayor’s Office and City Office will build on the fantastic work done by the panel in the last two years. I am looking forward to continuing to work with the Bristol @ Night panel and the new advisor. Together we can draw up plans to make the city’s night-time economy stronger, safer, more inclusive and better connected for everyone who lives in and comes to the city for a great night out.”

Anyone interested in the position can find out more here




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