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(Credit: Alani Cruz)

MPs to examine the impact of the pandemic on UK’s night economy

MPs are to launch a report examining how the long-lasting effect of the COVID-19 pandemic will harm the UK night industry.

The investigation is at the peril of recently formed group All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Night-Time Economy. MPs formed the group in the wake of officials pleading with the government to provide additional nightclubs with financial support. Around three quarter’s of clubs are currently fighting for their future. As the UK enters yet another lockdown, there is no date when these venues will manage to open their doors again and how many will still exist when this day comes looks even more uncertain. The report will be conducted this month before being released in February.

The APPG Chair, Jeff Smith MP, commented: “As we move now into a third national lockdown, there has never been a more important time for government to address the urgent needs of night time economy businesses, their supply chains and those that rely on them for employment.”

Smith added: “Despite playing such a vital role in our local communities and UK economy, nightlife businesses have been repeatedly overlooked by the government, and we are determined to ensure that the specific challenges facing the sector are addressed. This inquiry will be a vital first step in our work.”

Michael Kill, CEO of the Night-Time Industries Association, added: “Since March, we have seen the night-time sector berated, scapegoated and even blamed for rising infections. Our sector has slipped through the cracks of insufficient support packages and borne the brunt of ever-changing and inconsistent restrictions. We urge all those who work in the night-time economy, or simply enjoy a night out, to take part in the APPG survey to help policymakers understand the importance of our vital sector.”

Kill also revealed to NME that the NTIA were in discussions with the government about both future funding and how they can one day reopen safely. “We are still on course to lose three-quarters of the workforce from night time economy venues, and that’s certain if the government comes back with more tiered restrictions like we had before,” Kill said.

“Our biggest concern at the moment is nightclubs becoming systematically extinct by the government’s ignorance and lack of narrative around the night time economy. That becomes a cultural issue and an economic issue.”

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