NTIA issues a stark warning to UK Government regarding nightlife

House | Thursday 4th February 2021 | Arren

Urgent action is required from the UK government to stop the "extinction" of nightclubs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. That’s according to a damning report out today from the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA).

Since March 2020, clubs and music venues have been forced to close their doors due to government restrictions in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Now almost a year since their forced closure the industry faces some harsh realities. In a report released today (February 4th) the NTIA has suggested that without support from the government over 80% of the country's clubs and late-night venues won’t last beyond February.

The stats come from a survey carried out by NTIA which talked to over 100 clubs, and its painted a bleak picture of the future for the UK's nighttime industry. Crippling rents and taxes have hit venues hard, many stating they’re in rent arrears and have been forced to make redundancies to try and stay afloat.

"The facts stand that nightclubs/late night venues have been given limited, and in many cases hugely disproportionate support outside of furlough for the year they have been closed and suffered extreme financial hardship for over 11 months, with many seeing the end of February as the last stand for their future" - the report states.

The survey has revealed:

  • 81% of nightclubs in UK won’t survive past February without further support.
  • 88% of nightclubs have over 2 months of rent arrears, with 50% having over three from the beginning of January
  • 86% of nightclubs have made redundancies, with over 65% making over 60% of their workforce redundant before the end of 2020.
  • 43% of nightclubs have not received any grant support from the government.

The forced closure of venues have made them more vulnerable than ever, and NTIA CEO Michael Kill (pictured above) layed out several factors which will see venues doors never reopening. These include a lack of government support, proposed changes to planning laws that would allow landlords to convert venues into housing, the inability for venues to access finance from financial institutions and the lack of a transparent exit strategy for the reopening of the sector in line with the Government vaccination rollout.

Michael Kill explains: "We are on the cusp of losing a cultural institution, the government has ignored the sector and failed to recognise its economic and cultural value." He continues; "We are a world leader in electronic music and clubs - and have been a breeding ground for contemporary music talent, events and DJs for decades. Nightclubs have made a huge contribution to our culture sector and are renowned globally"

"Throughout this pandemic and the restrictive measures levied against the sector, it is clear that these businesses are being systematically eradicated from society. As they continue to be excluded from the narrative of press announcements and planning, and through misconceptions and misguided understanding of the sector, from age old stereotyping the sector has been given little or no opportunity to re engage even with very clear ability to open spaces safely."