That’s right, we do proper news and that too sometimes….
By Josh Loynes
A new report into the effects of COVID-19 on UK nightlife has found that the industry could face “extinction” without urgent and immediate intervention.
An All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) made up of 40 MP’s have predicted that without increased government support for the country’s struggling nightlife sector, city centres will be left resembling “ghost towns”.
The findings of the report are based on a survey of around 20,000 industry figures, including employers, freelancers and consumers.
The report was led by Jeff Smith MP, who commented “Our findings today reveal this industry is on its knees, in desperate need of additional support from the government and a concrete plan for reopening. Without these interventions, many of these viable businesses will go under, leaving city and town centres resembling ghost towns. If the government is serious about its ‘levelling up’ agenda it must act now to save this sector and avoid untold damage to the social fabric of this country.”
Key findings of that survey include the revelation that 78 per cent of all employees in the sector had at some point been on furlough, while 85 per cent of people working in the night-time economy are considering completely leaving the industry.
The report also suggests a number of measures the government can take to help, including extending the furlough scheme until businesses can operate freely and without restrictions, as well as producing a “roadmap” for reopening late night venues based on the vaccination programme and mass testing, and providing a government-backed insurance scheme and a solution to spiralling commercial rent debt (The Government has already placed a freeze on the eviction of commercial tenants, but this is currently only in place until 31st March 2021).
Commenting on the report, Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), said “From artists to engineers, bar staff to security, and production to promoters — they have shown great resilience in the face of adversity. But resilience only gets you so far without the required support. We need more assistance and a detailed plan for reopening now. Otherwise, much of what defines a night out in the UK will be lost forever.”
The full report, including testimonies from many involved in the survey, can be found at the link below.
Editor’s Note: Proper scary this, innit?