Newcastle Now


As an organisation we remain focussed on a future vision for the City and are continually developing strategic partnerships with organisations aligned with our goals. Here are some of the strategic projects were are currently working on to bring Newcastle into the future.

Hunter Innovation Project

Newcastle Now, together with three key partners, has been successful in securing a $9.8 million government grant for the Hunter Innovation Project (HIP) which will turn our City into a world-leading centre for innovation.

This project is a collaboration between Newcastle City Council, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle Now and Hunter DiGiT, and means individuals, organisations and businesses in the region will have access to the world’s best technology and to information and support delivered through three integrated and interdependent projects.

1. A Digital Precinct - A revolutionary digital precinct extending from Civic to the West End, will be the zone where high tech, digital and creative industries will be able to collaborate across a high-speed broadband infrastructure connecting with each other and the world in real time.

2. An Innovation Hub - Businesses, students, start-ups, researchers and entrepreneurs will grow and enhance their ideas with access to specialist skills and knowledge within the innovation hub, a purpose built centre designed for incubating and testing ideas in our region and delivering those ideas to the rest of the world.

3. Leading smart city infrastructure - Smart city infrastructure such as smart parking, smart street lighting and free city wide WiFi will be put in place for the enjoyment of all. Individuals and businesses will be able to contribute to and collectively benefit from this infrastructure.

To get involved visit

Creative Industries

Newcastle Now sees the creative industries as very important in the city’s future and continually works on strategic projects that will benefit this sector and attract opportunity.

Over 9200 people in the Hunter Region say they work in the ‘creative industries’ and more than 80% of them work in the Newcastle Local Government Area. Creative industries traditionally include people working in Advertising, Architecture, Design, Fashion, Visual Arts, Music, Performing Arts, Publishing, Film, Television, Radio, Electronic Games; and the list keeps growing.
These sectors touch our everyday life and make a significant contribution to the national and regional economy – one that is growing and is expected to go on growing. The creative industries have been nominated by RDA Hunter as one of the seven areas of smart specialisation for this region – areas of the economy for which this region has a competitive advantage.

More importantly, they are considered to be central to an innovative economy.

Smart Cities

The international ‘smart cities’ movement aims to increase the livability, productivity and sustainability of urban areas through the use of technology to solve the problems of increasing urbanisation and increase the engagement of communities in finding solutions.

When communities work together to adopt and adapt the new technologies and to understand the power of data delivered through WiFi linked sensors they are finding ways to enhance their environment, improve health outcomes and social cohesion, grow new industries and deliver cost savings to release funds for priority projects.

The really clever cities are also finding ways to build on their cultural and creative traditions to make their cities happier, more rewarding places to live, work and play.

Newcastle Now is collaborating with other significant local organisations to develop programs to help us enter this global movement and make our city better.

Newcastle Now has partnered with VIMOC technology to trial a 'landscape computing' approach that installed sensors in Darby Street to monitor parking, count foot traffic and measure temperature and humidity. Gathering and interpretation of data began in early 2015 and traders are now beginning to see how that data can be used to improve their business.

Nobbys Lighthouse

Newcastle Now has managed public access and activation of the Nobbys Headland site for six years through a licence agreement with the Port Authority of NSW (PANSW) 2013 – present, and the NSW Department of Crown Lands, 2011 - 2013.

Our vision for this much loved local icon includes facilitating public access and developing its potential to become a major tourist attraction with a restaurant, cafe, function centre and art gallery.

We are currently working with key partners to prepare a professional Development Application to renovate the site and expect to lodge the application by the end of 2017. To date, through a special partnership with the Department of Corrective Services and a team of dedicated Novocastrian businesses, we have restored the three cottages to their original condition allowing visitors to walk through them and enjoy their historical significance.

The Lighthouse grounds are currently open each Sunday from 10am to 4pm and are cared for by Newcastle Now City Ambassadors.  


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