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The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has teamed up with Bristol music venue Thekla to host an event that will explore how the night-time economy can co-exist with urban development.

The move is part of a campaign the venue is leading to safeguard its future following the green light given by the city planners to the Redcliffe Wharf residential site.

The event will explore the issues venues face with the increasing number of residential developments in city centres as planners struggle to meet the demand for new housing.

A Q&A session on Thekla’s future will be followed by a panel discussion on how to achieve a ‘360-degree’ approach where night time industry operators, legislators, police, local planning authorities and residents are all part of the discussion.

Julie Tippins, DHP Family, commented: “DHP Family understands the housing pressure the country and particularly young people face and why local authorities are keen to see as much residential development as possible to ease the problem and meet targets set by the government.

“This should be done in a cooperative way with existing bars, venues and clubs to ensure their future is not jeopardised as a consequence. The key is to find ways to work together to overcome the challenges.”


Planning permission was granted for a residential development of flats on the opposite bank of the river despite serious concerns raised by DHP Family of the lack of an adequate noise survey.

There are fears the Thekla could be forced to close due to potential noise complaints from the Redcliffe Wharf flats if the developer fails to put in enough soundproofing to protect its residents.

Tippins added: “We are pleased that the developer of Redcliffe Wharf has committed to a new noise survey. We wait for them to provide us with the details of when and how this will be carried out so we can assist them in making this a robust evaluation, which can protect both the Thekla and residents in the future.”

The NTIA event will highlight the opportunities as well as some of the challenges to cities of development and the need to have a smart, ambitious and joined up Urban Master Plan.

Thekla, a live music venue and club space, is operated by independent national promoter DHP Family

The Thekla case

Julie Tippins, head of compliance of festival, promoter and venue operator DHP Family, alongside Alan Miller, chairman of NTIA, will discuss the Thekla position.

The panel will discuss how stakeholders can work together to achieve solutions which look to see how music venues and other operators in the 24-hour economy, in Bristol and nationally, can co-exist with urban development.

The night time economy is UK’s fifth biggest industry and accounts for at least eight percent of the UK’s employment and revenues of £66bn per annum, according to the NTIA.

Confirmed panel members include:

  • Tom Paine (Love Saves The Day)
  • Leighton De Burca (Nite Watch Placemaker Bristol)
  • John Hirst (Bristol BID) with further guests to be announced shortly.

NTIA chairman, Alan Miller, commented: “We are very excited to be doing this joint event with Thekla in Bristol. In so many ways, Thekla represents the beating heart of creativity and a part of the special magic that makes up Bristol.

“Bristol, which has given so much in terms of musical and artistic contribution, needs to ensure there is a smart Urban Master Plan so development can happen for much needed new housing while our cultural destinations can continue to flourish together.

“Many have already voiced their opinions, and we look forward to a smart solution of win-win with the developers. However, beyond that, we need to ensure that the ongoing direction for Bristol is one that encourages and champions our fifth biggest industry and one of the vital contributions that Britain makes to the world.”

The event is open to the public. To reserve a place email alex@theklabristol.co.uk with your full name.

Anyone wanting to show their support is invited to post on socials using #savethekla and #savenightlife