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Tue 2nd Aug 2022 - NTIA calls for government support after one fifth of nightclubs lost in last three years
NTIA calls for government support after one fifth of nightclubs lost in last three years: The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has called for government support after releasing figures showing one fifth of nightclubs have been lost in the last three years. The figures also show there are only 1,130 nightclubs left in the UK, which is down substantially since the pandemic, with the Midlands and north being hit the hardest. The culmination of pandemic debt, growing energy bills, workforce challenges, supply chain issues, increased insurance premiums, landlord pressures and product cost increases have created a perfect storm, says the NTIA. Operating cost pressures, coupled with consumers having less disposable income, have seen both ticket sales and visitor frequency slow down. There is still some way to go to see the true impact of cost inflation on businesses, with more than half of businesses surveyed by the NTIA saying they are still to renew their energy contracts. Further closures would drastically affect the night time economy’s contribution to the UK economy – currently £112bn in revenue per annum (6% of the UK's total) – NTIA chief executive Michael Kill warned. “Late night economy businesses were one of the quickest sectors to rebound during the financial crash many years ago, harbouring an abundance of resilience and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Kill. “These businesses, particularly nightclubs, have a huge part to play in the regeneration of high streets in towns and cities across the UK, not forgetting the important part they play in peoples’ physical, mental and social wellbeing. The government needs to recognise the economic, cultural, and community value of clubs and the wider night time economy. We must protect these businesses, using every means possible, and recognise their importance before it’s too late.” Labour’s shadow levelling up secretary, Lisa Nandy, said in June that reopening nightclubs in struggling towns and city centres could help revive high streets and boost the economy. In response, Arith Liyanage, who operates Night Owl nightclubs in both Birmingham and London, said nightclubs must move away from the traditional one-size-fits-all model and offer more specialist and safer nights out if they’re to really help UK towns level up. “The old-fashioned mainstream nightclub with the big disco ball and dry smoke model is pretty much dead,” said Liyanage, who plans to grow his concept on a national basis. “People have a lot more choice in hospitality now and will pick something that fits their lifestyle.”

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