NOBBYS Head lighthouse is set to shine again, with plans for a pop-up restaurant, business events and light shows under a new deal struck by Newcastle Now to manage the iconic site.

The reactivation of Nobbys is a coup for businessman and recently appointed Newcastle Now manager Michael Neilson, who signed a 12-month contract yesterday that will allow the organisation to inject new life into the Crown Land site.

Mr Neilson’s appointment is part of a changing of the guard at Newcastle Now, whose mission is to revitalise the CBD. Once managed by council, it is now an independent association working with stakeholders including council, state government and business.

Mr Neilson said that in six months the organisation would release a three-year strategic plan for the city, including recommendations on how to better and beautify the East End, Newcastle West, Civic and Darby Street business precincts.

Other focus areas for Newcastle Now, which has also taken over the running of LiveSites, include business incubation, attracting more creative industries to the city and boosting its membership base.

Mr Neilson, who has worked in federal, state and local government as well as non-profit sectors, admitted to feeling “frustrated” by a lack of progress in improving the city.

He urged businesses to get behind Newcastle Now and have their say in the reactivation of their city.

“The more support we get, the more clout we have to get things done,” he said.

Nobbys Lighthouse is open on the first and third Sunday of the month and Newcastle Now’s use of the site will remain within that arrangement.

COUP: Newcastle Now manager Michael Neilson will inject new life. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

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