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A purple-lit laneway scene with people sitting down eating and drinking
Photograph: Supplied/ Destination NSW

The NSW government wants to help you create Sydney's next going-out precinct

Is your pocket of Sydney the next big thing?

Cassidy Knowlton
Written by
Cassidy Knowlton

One of our favourite places to party in Sydney is the YCK Laneways precinct, which is stuffed with brilliant small bars like the Lobo, Stitch, PS40 and the Prince of York. But that's not the only place to go out in Sydney. There are pockets all over the city packed with bars, restaurants, music venues and cultural institutions that make the perfect precincts for bar crawls, progressive dinners and experiencing art and culture. 

If you work in just such an area, the NSW government wants to hear from you. The government is calling on arts and cultural institutions, entertainment and hospitality businesses and organisations to take place in the Uptown Accelerator Program, which aims to build going-out precincts across the city. 

Applications need to come from 'district teams', made up of at least three local businesses or organisations. These teams will take part in a four-week program that will help them become Sydney's must-visit entertainment precincts. 

NSW 24-hour economy commissioner Mike Rodrigues says the Uptown program will offer valuable training for organisations to market themselves and encourage visitation. “Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the night-time economy, with hospitality and retail businesses, artists, live performance venues and cultural institutions suffering disproportionately. Uptown is about supporting these sectors as businesses recover from the pandemic and look for greater revenue opportunities,” he says. "From Brookvale to Balmain, Harris Park to Hurstville, Sydney is blessed with diverse environments, multicultural communities and the world’s oldest continuing culture for whose custodianship we are grateful and for whose storytelling traditions we are privileged to contribute and share.

“Over the course of four weeks, Uptown will deliver workshops that will arm teams with knowledge on pitching, branding, legal, sponsorship, grant writing and more, to help them build capabilities and support the formation of their prospective ‘districts’.”

After the program, there will be a pitch night for teams to pitch their districts to partners and sponsors. There is also a grant component to the program, to help precincts further develop.

Applications are open until 9am on August 30. To apply, visit the Investment NSW website.

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