‘Adviser needed in every major city to save night-time sector’

By Gary Lloyd contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sector at stake: the Night Time Industries Association wants to work with authorities to establish advisory positions (credit: Getty/gradyreese)
Sector at stake: the Night Time Industries Association wants to work with authorities to establish advisory positions (credit: Getty/gradyreese)

Related tags: Finance, Social responsibility, Legislation

Placing an adviser for the night-time economy in every major city across the UK is the “only way” to save the sector, according to the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA).

Cities targeted by the Night Time Industries Association for establishing night-time economy advisers

  • Liverpool
  • Newcastle
  • Sheffield/South Yorkshire
  • Leeds / West Yorkshire
  • Tees Valley
  • Birmingham
  • Nottingham
  • Brighton
  • Glasgow
  • Cardiff
  • Swansea

The NTIA has launched a campaign to establish the position of night-time economy advisers in cities to help “kick start the embattled sector’s recovery from pandemic closures”. 

So far, night-time economy advisers have been set up in Greater Manchester and Bristol, under the stewardship of Sacha Lord and Carly Heath, respectively, with the position already existing in London in the form of Night Czar Amy Lamé.

Research by the NTIA suggests the UK night-time economy was worth £112.8bn in 2019, which amounted to 5.1% of GDP and accounted for 1.95 million jobs. But the prolonged closures and restrictions on trade during the pandemic have ravaged the sector, with nearly 90,000 jobs lost since then, and almost a third of nightclubs no longer trading – and many that are still grappling with debts up to three years’ worth of trading profits.

Therefore, the NTIA believes the solution to ensuring the sector can recover to anything like its previous strength is to have a representative that reports to the local or combined authority executive, spotlighting regional issues and championing and supporting the industry.

Hammered by pandemic

NTIA chief executive Michael Kill said: “The night-time economy sector, which has been hammered by the pandemic, is one of the most important for driving economic growth. But its importance is so much more than a number – these businesses are also of immense cultural value. They are hubs of the community, places where people go to meet and make connections that can last a lifetime. It would be a tragedy for this country if the nightlife sector didn’t meaningfully rebound from the pandemic.

“That is why we are launching a push to establish night-time economy advisers in cities all over the UK, to steward the sector’s restoration and ensure it isn’t left to wither. We feel this is the only way the sector can recover its pre-pandemic vibrance.

“The examples in Bristol and Manchester show just what an incredible job can be done with this position, championing the sector and the region, both in local decision-making and also nationally and internationally. They can also pick up specific issues and run with them to produce positive change, as we have seen with some progressive initiatives on drink spiking.

“We would call on all relevant local and combined authorities to engage with us on this to benefit the many millions who want to see thriving night time economies all over the UK.”

Sacha Lord, night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, added: “The night-time economy and hospitality industry is fundamental to the recovery of cities up and down the country, particularly within this post pandemic environment. 

“The role of the night-time economy adviser plays a huge part in spotlighting regional issues, championing and supporting an industry which has been at the sharpest end of the pandemic.

“This industry is bigger than the automotive, beauty and fashion industries and has the breadth and scope to impact investment, culture and communities.

“It is vitally important it has its own voice and is represented regionally and within major cities across the UK.”

Positive interventions

Bristol night-time economy adviser Carly Heath said: “In my time as night-time economy adviser in Bristol, I have led on implementing a number of positive public health and safety interventions in the city’s night-time economy, including on drink spiking, which has been of particular interest lately.

“My role enables the council to take a co-ordinated city-wide approach to issues that arise and provide a quick and nimble response across the local authorities, from local council, police, NHS and care services and the universities, and connect these to action within the local industry and night time audiences.

“The night-time economy can often be seen as a problem in policy making circles – issues such as crime, antisocial behaviour, drug and alcohol consumption and noise complaints are a big part of what any city council will deal with.

“With a dedicated officer to advise on solutions around these issues, and to act as a conduit between the local authority and industry, the night-time economy can start to be part of the solution in maintaining a safe and active night time community – and the sector’s huge contribution can be better accounted for in policy decisions.

“I’m a huge advocate for the needs of the night, and the importance of having a night-time economy adviser in every city.”

Related topics: Legislation

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