Sacha Lord threatens legal action over 19 July delay

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Legal action threatened: 'a clear and inevitable crisis' is approaching as the night-time sector is forced to remain shut for another week, night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord has said. (image: Getty/LUMINKK555)
Legal action threatened: 'a clear and inevitable crisis' is approaching as the night-time sector is forced to remain shut for another week, night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord has said. (image: Getty/LUMINKK555)

Related tags: Night time economy, Sacha Lord, Nightclub, Legislation

A coalition of more than 45 hospitality and events bosses have written to the Prime Minister threatening legal action if 19 July’s reopening is pushed back.

Night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, Sacha Lord, has led the open letter alongside the Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) and large pub groups including Admiral Taverns and Revolution Bars.

Club bosses had anticipated reopening next week (Monday 21 June) after more than a year closed but these plans were scrapped after Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushed back lockdown lifting plans by four weeks.

Johnson has dubbed Monday 19 July as a "terminus date" for lockdown restrictions on social contact and expressed confidence in the vaccination rollout's ability to unlock the nation.

Now, night-time bosses have called on the Government to issue immediate financial aid, estimating the hospitality sector will lose £3bn during the four week delay.

Draconian measures

The hospitality, events and weddings industries have “suffered enormously due to the repeated closures and reopenings, the ongoing lack of certainty, draconian social distancing measures and the illogical rules implemented and then removed,” the letter states.

As of next month(July), operators will have to contribute 10% of wages for furloughed staff as business rates relief tapers from 100% to 66%.

The NTIA has called for closed night-time economy businesses to be excluded from these extra employer contributions.

Sacha Lord described the gradual reduction in support despite continued restrictions as “a clear and inevitable crisis about to take place.”

“We demand absolute confirmation we will reopen on the 19 July and we need urgent financial support to give businesses the best possible chance to survive until then,” he added.

Financial support

Lord has previously taken the Government to court over policies such as the 10pm curfew and substantial meal measures.

Bosses who have put their name to the letter include Chris Jowsey of Admiral Taverns, Peter Marks of Rekom Nightclubs, William Lees-Jones of JW Lees Brewery and Rob Pitcher of Revolution Bars.

Nightlife bosses have called for an extension of the restrictions grant for businesses and an extension to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme/Bounce Back Scheme loans repayment holiday.

What’s more, the Government has been urged to extend business rates relief and the 5% VAT reduction as well as events and festival insurance cover.

One in four night-time businesses told the NTIA they would not survive longer than a month without further support​ after reopening plans were halted.

The sector welcomed news that the commercial eviction ban would be extended by nine months to March 2022.

Related topics: Legislation

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