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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Saturday 06 February 2021

Warning Of Devastating Impact As Government Shuts Door on Nightclubs

Without urgent action 2021 will see the 'extinction' of nightclubs, warn the Night Time Industries Association. The failure so far of the UK Government to recognise the devastating impact of their actions on this sector is a tragedy for UK Culture.

Nightclubs and late night venues have been closed since March, with many suggesting they will not survive past the end of February.  

The facts stand that Nightclubs/Late Night Venues have been given limited, and in many cases hugely disproportionate support outside of Furlough for the year they have been closed and suffered extreme financial hardship for over elevn months, with many seeing the end of February as the last stand for their future.

As nightclubs and late night venues remain shut due to Government restrictions, Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), points to several factors that will cause many nightclubs and late night venues to go out of business in 2021, in the absence of Government support:

* A lack of appropriate financial support for the sector from the Government

* Proposed changes to planning laws that would allow landlords to convert venues into housing

* Inability for venues to access finance from financial institutions

* Lack of transparent exit strategy for re opening of the sector in line with the Government vaccination rollout. 


Michael Kill, CEO NTIA, said 

"We are on the cusp of losing a cultural institution, the Government has ignored the sector and failed to recognise its economic and cultural value.

"We are a world leader in electronic music and clubs - and have been a breeding ground for contemporary music talent, events and DJ's for decades. 

"Nightclubs have made a huge contribution to our culture sector and are renowned globally.

"Throughout this Pandemic and the restrictive measures levied against the sector, it is clear that these businesses are being systematically eradicated from society. 

"As they continue to be excluded from the narrative of press announcements and planning, and through misconceptions and misguided understanding of the sector, from age old stereotyping the sector has been given little or no opportunity to re engage even with very clear ability to open spaces safely.

"The current proposed changes in planning reform under permitted development rights is a huge threat to the sector as this has the potential to allow for the demolition and rebuilding of 'vacant and redundant' light industrial buildings as homes, given that over 88% of Nightclub businesses are over two quarters of rent in arrears, we are poised for a windfall of landlords at the end of March when the Forfeiture Moratoria comes to end, reclaiming their property and utilising this mechanism to convert many of our much loved cultural spaces and social environments into housing."

"Banks and Financial services whether it be insurance or lending within the sector has been near on impossible, with confidence in the sector at a new low, coupled with ineligibility for much of the financial provision outside of furlough, the extensive period of closure without recognition of the proportionate financial support needed for these businesses is being perceived by the sector as negligence.

"Consider this as an Industry, we have faced extreme adversity during this pandemic battling against financial hardship, increased regulatory constraints, business critical planning changes, financial services turning their backs on us and the continued refusal for the leaders of this country to mention Nightclubs or Late Night venues within the narrative - This is not negligence, this an intention to cull the sector advertently

"These amazing creative spaces are the breeding grounds for nurturing talent, bringing communities together, building resilience and expanding the global phenomenon around UK club culture and electronic and live music.

"The Government needs to support Nightclubs and Late Night Venues with a robust financial package and which is tailored to support businesses that have been closed since March and a roadmap giving a clear indication of the timelines for re-opening against the backdrop of the vaccination rollout, to give hope to many who are overburdened with debt."



by: Mike Cobley




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