Dundee’s development convener is calling on businesses to unite for a single day of “European-style” late openings amid claims the city centre is “decaying”.
Lynne Short is to contact local cafes and other businesses to discuss the prospect of a single day of late trading.
It is hoped that shops and cafes will open until as late as 10pm and that those who want Dundee to have a more active night-time economy will visit the businesses.
The hours would be similar to those in continental countries such as Spain and Italy.
Ms Short said: “I want to ask the people of Dundee and the cafes and businesses to work with me on this experiment.
“To the cafes, open until 10pm, and to the public, come and visit them.
“There would be no point in opening if nobody is going to come in. There has to be a relationship between both for it to work.”
Her idea comes amid claims by the City Centre and Harbour Community Council that the city centre is in a state of “decay” due to the amount of attention being lavished on the Waterfront.
The community council’s chairman, Bill Newcombe, drew up a list of suggestions to enrich City Square and its immediate surroundings.
Among the ideas put forward were holding more events and activities in City Square, better signposting to Dundee attractions and a suggestion that businesses should open later.
Mr Newcombe said last week: “There are plenty of restaurants and pubs which are already trading in the evening, but people want cafes and coffee shops to open later.
“That would make quite a change to the atmosphere between 5.30pm and 11pm, especially as we’re expecting more visitors because of the V&A.”
Ms Short claims the council is continuing to work on promoting the city centre – but has to keep a watchful eye on the bank balance when asked about providing events such as Hogmanay parties.
She added: “I’m not making excuses and I would love to see something. But there are other positives.
“Look at how Reform Street has come on in the last two years – there are barely any ‘to let’ signs – and there are developments brewing in the Murraygate.
“I think in Dundee we can be very hard on ourselves because that’s the kind of people we are.”