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Boris Johnson said to act now to prevent ‘extinction’ of UK nightlife




A multi-stakeholder group of more than 40 MPs told Boris Johnson to act now to prevent the “extinction” of British nightlife.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Nighttime Economy has released the results of its recent investigation into the impact of Covid-19, which warns the sector is at risk of collapsing completely unless the government takes urgent action .

MEPs urge Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak to announce a package of sector specific subsidies and a detailed roadmap for reopening the sector to avoid “irreversible losses” that would create “ghost towns” across the country. countries and hamper the broader economic recovery.

The report, entitled Covid-19 and nightlife in the UK, examines the impact of the pandemic and government support for businesses in the nightlife economy, including clubs, bars, pubs, concert halls, festivals and supply chain businesses.

This is a survey that received more than 20,000 responses from consumers, employers, employees and the self-employed in the industry, and follows a call from the famous Bristol Motion nightclub.

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The main findings of the survey include:

  • 85 percent of people working in the night economy plan to leave the industry
  • 78 percent of all employees in the sector had at some point been on leave
  • Night-time economy companies laid off 37% of their total workforce on average4
  • In the second half of 2020, companies in the night economy traded on average at 28% of their annualized turnover before Covid5
  • Only 36% of self-employed nightlife workers were able to benefit from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

The report also includes many detailed personal accounts from people in the industry describing how the pandemic has affected them.

The sector “did not receive the urgent support it needed”

Bristol MP West Thangam Debbonaire
(Image: Bristol Post)

In addition to the long periods of forced shutdowns, night-time businesses have faced numerous restrictions on their ability to trade, including curfews, social distancing measures, loss of vertical alcohol consumption and the requirements for a substantial meal to be consumed with alcohol.

Companies have also had to face significant costs and investments to adjust to the new conditions and many, including the majority of clubs, have not been able to trade at all.

  • Extend the holiday scheme until companies can operate without restrictions and extend relief from VAT and professional rates until 2021
  • Produce a roadmap for the reopening of late night venues based on the vaccination program and mass testing
  • Expand eligibility for the Culture Recovery Fund and prove a sector support program
  • Provide a government-backed insurance system and solutions to drive up commercial rent arrears
  • Introduction of Treasury-backed system to stimulate demand once restrictions are relaxed
  • Appoint a UK Government Night Economics Advisor

Bristol West MP Thangam Debbonaire said: “The Bristols nightlife industry is made up of so many different people working in nightclubs, pubs, bars and concert halls, as well as independent creatives. , event companies, suppliers and promoters.

“They all make Bristol such an exciting place to live and generally attract so many people to our city.

“It is clear from this report and listening to the many people in the nightlife economy and the cultural sector that I represent as a Member of Parliament, that the sector has not received the urgent government support it needed in this crisis. of Covid.

“This includes many players in the event industry, freelancers and others who are among the three million still excluded from any financial support.

“I welcome this report and will use it to inform the work I continue to do to represent the people of Bristol West and to help bring our nightlife back after such a difficult year.”

The Bristol @ Night Advisory Group, which was launched by Bristol City Council in November 2018, said the impacts of Covid-19 had “highlighted the importance of culture, music and the economy nocturnal “.

“Bristol has a reputation for being a creative and vibrant city with a thriving nightlife and music scene,” a spokesperson for the group said.

“From Eats Everything to Massive Attack, from Portishead to Roni Size, we have a long history of noise. Bristols’ nightlife economy, and in particular its underground music scene, attracts a diverse audience.

“The devastating effects of Covid-19 have highlighted the importance of culture, music and the nightlife economy in our city.

“What happens between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. is a key part of what our cities have to offer to those who choose to live, work, visit and study here.”

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