Almost two thirds of late-night venues risk going under by October without Government aid

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Help needed: a consortium of late-night sector leaders have called for further support from the Government
Help needed: a consortium of late-night sector leaders have called for further support from the Government

Related tags: Nightclub, MA500, Late night, Property

A group of leading late-night operators including the Deltic Group and the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) have called on the Government to save the sector from collapse before the furlough scheme ends.

While pubs, restaurants, cafés and other areas of hospitality were able to reopen from the coronavirus lockdown from 4 July, late-night venues such as nightclubs have not yet been given an indication of when they can reopen from the Government.

However, research from the NTIA has found that more than half (57.6%) of night-time venues will not survive longer than two months without further support.

What's more, the NTIA found that three quarters (73%) of night-time operators will be making more than half their workforce redundant from September while 82.9% will be making people redundant following the end of the furlough scheme.

Measures in place

A key finding of the Nightclub and Venue Reopening Strategy ​report, which the NTIA commissioned the Institute of Occupation Medicine to produce, found overall capacity restrictions to 75% of the legal building occupancy based on regulations will ensure distancing is possible throughout the venue.

It also highlighted the safety measures that are already or can be in place such as ID scans and temperature checks upon entry, contactless payment, crowd control through licensed security, ventilation systems, large square footage venues to allow social distancing alongside frequent and high intensity cleaning and hygiene regimes.

NTIA chief executive officer Michael Kill said: “We have now reached a critical point. In the absence of a clear reopening strategy from Government, or the promise of financial support, huge numbers of businesses within our industry are facing financial collapse and thousands of job losses.

“The report we have launched today clearly shows there is a case for the safe reopening of night-time leisure venues, including nightclubs, late-night bars, live music venues and event spaces."

Lack of clarity

Kill added: “While many of these are large capacity venues, it is important to note they already have many of the safety protocols in place to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

“We implore the Government to give us the opportunity to reopen in a safe, risk-assessed way. Doing so will protect thousands of jobs, contribute to the struggling UK economy and ensure our towns and cities remain economically healthy and culturally vibrant.”

The Deltic Group CEO Peter Marks said echoed Kill’s calls for a reopening date and plan for the late-night sector.

He said: “The late-night leisure sector, a sector that employs tens of thousands of people across the UK, is at risk of collapse if the Government does not act now – it is that simple.

“Despite the furlough scheme continuing until the end of October, the lack of clarity from the Government around reopening and financial assistance for operators is alarming to say the least, especially as it is inevitably resulting in closures and widespread unemployment. We need a clear reopening plan or at the very least, fit-for-purpose financial assistance.”

Related topics: Legislation

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