- 16 Sep 21
"My Department has been actively engaged with the Night-Time Economy Taskforce looking at innovative approaches to support and develop a vibrant, diverse night-time culture and economy in Ireland," said Minister Catherine Martin.
Yesertday at the Button Factory, a report from the Night-Time Economy Task Force was released. The detailed report outlined recommendations and suggestions applying to the licensing and governing of late-night events, venues and gatherings in a post-Covid world.
Launched by Minister Catherine Martin, the 36-action report saw members of Irish nightlife economy come together from all over the country in an attempt to reform licensing laws, improve transport and safety measures, recognise club culture and electronic music as part of nightlife, and build night-time economy.
The proposed actions include, but are not limited to:
- Reviewing noise regulation to establish better co-ordination in noise management for residents, venues and authorities; new best practice planning guidance for local authorities to ensure that nightlife and culture are embedded into the planning process
- Facilitating better and more frequent use of publicly-owned cultural buildings and heritage sites for night-time events.
- Working with vintners and other key stakeholders to develop revitalisation of nightlife across the country, providing more opportunities for artists in the community.
- Examining practical implications of ‘meanwhile use’ for planning and other legislative codes, to enable buildings to be used for night-time economy activities.
- Allowing more venues to have late night usage, by putting together promoters and artists with existing spaces through a new annual exchange forum, the New late-night pilot programme for Culture Night.
- Reviewing current funding schemes to ensure the night-time economy is adequately included for financial support.
- Licensing laws are set to be reformed. The Licensing Acts, Registration of Clubs Acts, and the Public Dance Hall Act 1935, will all be repealed and replaced.
- Extending opening hours for pubs, venues and nightclubs.
- Introducing interim measures to be examined to ease pressure on businesses — including reviewing the Special Exemption Order (SEO) fees (which are, essentially, late night fees that cost a venue €420 plus solicitor fee to open late every night). Instead, the Taskforce are proposing an annual nightclub permit.
- National Cultural Institutions should be granted extended opening hours, and there will be new pilot projects developed for late night activity.
- Closing times for venues would be staggered, to mitigate the influx of people at once into the streets.
On another note, the report proposes the extension and improvement of public transport services, including:
- 8 new 24-hour routes in Dublin city
- New regional services including a potential 24 hour service on Route 101 — Dundalk–Drogheda–Dublin and Dublin–Naas–Newbridge.
- Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford services to be improved.
The sector has also announced that they will be engaging with Arts and Disability Ireland—or other pertinent organisations—to implement training and awareness, and that more alcohol free events will be developed as part of the night-time economy.
Read the report in full here.