Understanding and measurement of Glasgow's Night Time Economy

Giancarlo Fedeli, John Lennon

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The night time economy is now acknowledged as a key element of economic and cultural regeneration, as well as a factor in the appeal of city destinations to domestic and international visitors. Many cities are examining the value and importance of their night time economies as the importance of the night time culture and entertainment offer becomes more evident in building destination competitiveness. The debate in the UK in respect of night transportation, late night licensing and the appointment of night time Czars are symptoms of a growing concern with this aspect of the urban offer. The measurement of the value and employment the sector generates is a tangible way of building quantitative indicators and justifying policy in this area. However the composition of the Night Time Economy tends to cross standard industry classifications and is out with normal government parameters of analysis.
The city of Glasgow recently launched a new urban strategy with a vision for the city to become the most innovative and progressive city centre in Europe and create a “green, liveable city centre that fosters creativity and opportunity” (www.glasgowcitycentrestrategy.com, 2017). The strategy identified the success and prominence of the night time economy as a critical factor for the overall vibrancy and success of the city centre. This sector was seen as critical to the development of creative industries and tourism. In this respect, the Moffat Centre, Glasgow Caledonian University www.moffatcentre.com competitively tendered for and were commissioned to assess the economic impact of the night time economy. Following development of a unique methodology for measurement and segmentation of evening demand it was found that in 2015 Glasgow’s Night Time Economy (NTE) contributed £2.19 billion to the Glasgow economy. This sector constitutes 13.5% of City Centre GDP and was responsible for supporting 16,200 full time equivalent employment positions or 10.8% of city employment. This data provided quantifiable evidence of a hitherto undervalued element of the city economic portfolio and enabled policy makers to support reform in this area with critical economic data.

The methodology used for the study permitted the collection of both quantitative and qualitative data and identified emergent trends and characteristics that had previously received limited attention. This paper will illustrate the nature of the mixed methodology utilised which incorporated;

• analysis of Income sources,
• use of input-output tables,
• GDP and GVA contribution calculation
• review and evaluation of footfall,
• qualitative interviews with private sector stakeholders, owners and
• night time consumer surveys.

In addition to quantitative data the project also revealed emergent social trends and issues for the urban destination that were utilised in strategy and policy developments. This study represented the first evaluation of the sector in Glasgow and provides a valuable insight on how the NTE impacts on culture, tourism and the visitor economy.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2017


  • night time economy
  • tourism impact
  • Scotland
  • city centre strategy


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