Success at Gloucester Quays is rubbing off on the city centre, traders believe.
The cultural experience at the Quays is now so good that night-time business leaders in Eastgate Street are hoping to replicate the success story.
A pedestrianised street lined with tables and chairs for a spot of al fresco drinking might not be too far from reality for the street.
Neil Joyner, general manager at The Registry nightclub, said: “Eastgate Street could look a bit more like Westgate Street in the future with tables and chairs.
“At the moment it is not a nice area for older people to go down to.
“We have seen a huge success at the Quays and it would be nice to see that happen in Eastgate Street now.”
Business leaders at a recent meeting of the NightSafe group pointed to the respectable drinking culture that had been created by establishments such as Portivo Lounge, where people are encouraging to stay at one venue for longer because of the outdoor seating.
Recent crime figures show that the Quays is one of the safest parts of the city centre, with the number of incidents at drinking venues in other parts of the city higher than the number recorded in Cheltenham.
The low crime rate at the Quays comes despite the area being very busy in the evenings with diners, drinkers and cinema goers.
PC Mark Mansfield, from Gloucestershire Police, said: “We went down to the Quays the other day and it was extremely busy.”
Councillor Jennie Dallimore, chairman of the NightSafe committee, said: “It is a benchmark and we know that is where we are.
“Nobody is in denial that there is a perception that Gloucester isn’t as safe as Cheltenham.”
Eastgate Street is now being closed to traffic between 10pm and 5am on Friday and Saturday nights. It is hoped that the idea will make the street safer for party goers and will allow for more street entertainment to take place in the future.
Night-time economy leaders are also looking into new ways of keeping the street cleaner to make for a more pleasant environment.
CITY'S CRIME FIGURES
Incidents of crime at Gloucester’s night time spots are higher than those in neighbouring Cheltenham.
Police monitored the number of recorded incidents over the last 12 months in the city’s main pubs, bars and clubs and compared them to Cheltenham.
Cheltenham had 821 incidents compared to 1,025 in Gloucester, yet Gloucester Quays was one of the safest areas.
PC Mark Mansfield, from Gloucestershire Police, said: “The figures are a little bit worse than Cheltenham but not excessively.”
Rich Burge, the city’s new City Safe co-ordinator, added: “It is difficult to get behind these figures. We could have had one club that has had a spate of mobile phone thefts in a week that has pushed up the figures.”
Plans to tackle the crime rate in the city’s night-time economy include a new dispersal order for Eastgate Street and the surrounding streets in both directions.
It means police can ban troublemakers from the area for up to 24 hours. If people flout the ban they can be arrested.
The dispersal order will be put in place for six months if it is approved.
INCIDENTS of crime at Gloucester's night spots are higher than those in neighbouring Cheltenham.
Police monitored the number of recorded incidents over the past 12 months in the city's main pubs, bars and clubs and compared them with the nearby Regency town.
Cheltenham had 821 incidents compared with 1,025 in Gloucester, yet Gloucester Quays was one of the safest areas.
PC Mark Mansfield, from Gloucestershire police, said: "The figures are a little bit worse than Cheltenham but not excessively."