District teams from across Sydney highlighted their plans for building unique, vibrant night time destinations at the Uptown District Showcase earlier this week, a major milestone of the NSW Government’s 24-Hour Economy Strategy. 

24-Hour Economy Commissioner Michael Rodrigues described the Showcase as the culmination of the inaugural Uptown Accelerator Program, which has helped 30 district teams to amplify the potential of their local night-time economy. 

“COVID-19 has given us a tremendous opportunity to re-shape Sydney’s night-time experience and lay the groundwork for a truly 24-hour city. We are welcoming a new era for Sydney’s going out economy, one that is as diverse as it is inspiring, as exciting as it is sustainable,” Rodrigues said.

“Greater Sydney is already blessed with an enviable array of going-out experiences. Uptown is about  sharing the unique story of each district, elevating its profile and in doing so enticing residents and visitors to experience the many stories of our city first-hand.

District teams have spent the past five weeks workshopping ideas to enhance Greater Sydney’s neighbourhood nightlife as part of the program which is modelled on the success of the YCK (York, Clarence and Kent) Laneways district.

The teams comprising arts and cultural institutions, bars, restaurants, live music venues and family friendly destinations, took part in the first phase which delivered workshops on district visioning, place identity, as well as training on grant applications and sponsorship proposals.

Naysla Edwards, Vice-President of Charge Cards and Member Experience at American Express, said: “I absolutely loved the energy, passion, and commitment in the room to make our city more vibrant and community centred where we all support each other – that’s what we are looking for at American Express.

“All the initiatives we are working on are about bringing people together whilst backing our customers, communities and colleagues – when you find the right brand with shared values to collaborate with, it is very powerful.”

Team Leader for the Eastwood Korea Uptown District Team, Brian Park said that Rowe Street, Eastwood has been officially nominated as a new ‘Korea Town’ precinct. The team want to make this an iconic area  for Australians and tourists to share K-culture with their family and friends.

“We have learned from A to Z how to make up our own story, develop an action plan, prepare proposals and contact potential sponsors. Every program surprised us with great and helpful contents for us to learn and take a further step forward. Uptown is a starting point for our journey to success,” Park said.

Brookvale is another Uptown area and fast becoming an integrated arts, industry and entertainment district of global relevance.

John Meredith, Team Leader for the Brookvale Art District Team said: “We’re not surprised that Michael Rodrigues and the 24-hour economy team have managed to create an effective program. We have acquired a significantly improved understanding and capability regarding pitching our projects and securing partnerships.”

The second phase of Uptown will kick off in coming months and will provide seed funding for districts  across Sydney to bring their ideas to life.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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