The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) slammed the UK government for “intentionally” closing down venues as nightlife financial support schemes come to an end.
In a statement, the organization has accused the government of taking deliberate measures to put small venues out of business. NTIA stresses that amid the energy relief scheme’s end and National Minimum Wage’s increase, businesses “will be in for the fight of their lives.”
April 1st marked the end of the Energy Relief Scheme for hospitality businesses, leaving the nightlife sector in financial hardship. Alongside operating costs – which will double in the coming months – venues will also have to grapple with the 9.7% minimum wage increase.
“It is not becoming very clear that the Government has spent the last 3 years attempting to shut down dancefloors and stages across the country,” the statement reads. Drawing a line between the UK and other European countries, it describes the nightlife sector as “a burden on policing and local government.”
From Alcohol Duty Freeze’s short lifespan to licensing issues, NTIA claims the government showed little support to the nightlife sector.
NTIA’S CEO Michael Kill said although nightclubs are multifaceted British institutions, they have been undermined for decades.
“Over the coming months, we will see the impacts of Government inaction take hold, and many important night time economy businesses will be lost.”
Earlier this year, a report showed that the curtain fell for one in three UK clubs in 2022. According to NTIA’s latest figures, just 870 clubs remain open nationwide today, compared to 1446 in 2019.