New pilot groups are to be tasked with finding ways to preserve and enhance Ireland’s night-time culture.
The Night-time Culture Groups will include members of the arts and creative communities as well as venue-owners and businesses.
The groups will be set up in Dublin and Cork and will be asked to come up with ways to improve the nightlife in the cities as well as at a national level.
The work will eventually feed into the development of Ireland’s first Night-Time Cultural Policy.
Sunil Sharpe, spokesperson for the Give Us The Night campaign, said venues around the country are finding it hard to stay afloat.
“I think it is positive move but let’s see what is in this policy,” he said.
“Licensing, planning, costs – all of these are the major issue when it comes to nightlife and keeping businesses open.
“It is a big problem at the moment. Many are shutting, the conditions are too strict, and the costs are too high.
“Those really are the top issues here that will need to be identified and tackled in this policy.”
He said the groups need to include a wide variety of voices, “not just business owners or those with a greater vested interest in what should happen.”
“There are lots of voices from the arts and culture and music,” he said. “But also the Gardaí and residents groups.
“I think it is important to have this open discussion and for everyone to give their viewpoints on this.”
The Department of Culture said it is will also carry out a national survey of venues to find out what they are being used for, where they can be improved and where there may be gaps in the market.
Culture Minister Josepha Madigan said she hopes the plans can help realise the full potential of night-time cultural activity in Irish cities and towns.
She said she is looking forward to hearing the proposals form the two pilot groups and pledge to support the work at Government level.