'Arrogant ignorance towards hospitality must end,' says Manchester night czar

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Existential threat: the late night sector needs a sector-specific raft of support measures urgently, Sacha Lord said.
Existential threat: the late night sector needs a sector-specific raft of support measures urgently, Sacha Lord said.

Related tags: Greater manchester, Legislation, Curfew, Health and safety

The night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester has said that the Government must issue a sector-specific support package to prevent mass job losses this winter.

Sacha Lord said the sector was facing an existential threat without targeted support.

#CancelTheCurfew

The Morning Advertiser ​is urging its readers to use #CancelTheCurfew​​​ across your social media and to tag in your MPs and other politicians demanding an answer to the trade’s question – where’s the science for the curfew?

If they can’t answer that, then we want the Government to #CancelTheCurfew

The night czar called for an extension of the furlough scheme for venues who cannot operate at full capacity or that remain fully closed and are not eligible for the Job Support Scheme.

Existential threat

Lord said a cancellation of the “reckless” 10pm curfew was also needed alongside greater transparency of the scientific evidence justifying hospitality-specific restrictions in future.

Venues affected by or ordered to close in local measures should receive extra financial support as well as more support for freelancers working in the arts and hospitality sectors.

The business rates holiday should be further extended too, Lord added. 

“The current situation is an existential threat to the night time economy," he said.

"With safety as a priority, we are ready to work with the Government, but the confusion and arrogant ignorance about the importance of this £70bn  sector has to end.

"The sector will be key as we move towards economic recovery, but it is imperative that they act and invest now to ensure there is an economy to go back to.”

Complete collapse

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Winter Economy Plan came as “little use”, Lord continued, as his jobs scheme relied on businesses being open. 

Lord said for many operators it would be easier to remove individuals currently furloughed from payrolls than “go under”. 

“The furlough scheme must be extended for this sector in order to avoid a complete collapse, and a tidal wave of redundancies over the next three weeks," he added.

"I strongly urge the Government to publish scientific data and modelling to ensure we understand and can therefore back the difficult choices being made. Only then can we come together as one to rebuild Britain as the global cultural capital we are famous for.”

He is also backing a campaign to #CancelTheCurfew and said the policy represented a "reckless move"​, with worrying implications for public health with crowded streets.

Related topics: Legislation

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