Gov 'ripping the heart out of nightlife'

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Huge tragedy: two nightclubs a close amid soaring inflation  (Credit: Getty/SolStock)
Huge tragedy: two nightclubs a close amid soaring inflation (Credit: Getty/SolStock)

Related tags NTIA Cga Late night Finance Government

The Government is “ripping the heart out of nightlife” with the number of nightclubs declining as businesses await the Chancellors budget that has already “failed them twice before”, the Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) has stated.

According to figures clarified for the NTIA by CGA Vanilla, inflation ​has caused the number of nightclubs in the UK to decrease by 123 in the past 9 months, with 14 venues closing per month, equating to two a day.

Moreover, the NTIA warned If nightclubs were to close in line with the current trajectory, the UK could see one in three venues gone by the end of the year, up from one in five at the end of 2021, compared with 2019.

NTIA CEO Michael Kill said: ““The Government is ripping the heart out of nightlife, with cost inflation accelerating closures of nightclubs.

Fighting to survive 

“This inflationary circle ​is taking its toll on our sector, with businesses trading 15% down across the board and costs up over 30%, taking the shine off the golden quarter.

“Independent nightclubs across the UK are fighting to survive, managing cashflow on a day-by-day basis, waiting on a budget which has failed them twice before.”

The data showed more than 255 nightclubs were lost between December 2019 and December 2021, closing ​at a rate of 10.63 per month, equating to a nightclub lost every three days during the pandemic, with the number of venues standing at 1446 in December 2019, decreasing to 1191 by December 2021 and 1068 in September 2022.

Additionally, the NTIA stated the UK was a globally renowned world leader in electronic music with the nation’s clubs having been a breeding ground for contemporary music talent events and dj's for decades, making a huge contribution to the culture sector.

The comes as former Staffordshire nightclub operator Martin Murray​ earlier this year expressed "serious concern" about the development of new music without Government support for the late night ​sector. 

Huge tragedy

He said: “The next new scene always comes out of nightclubs. It only gets made if people enjoy it in person. A serious concern is where will this new music be able to develop?”

Furthermore, Kill urged the Government to support the sector as the declining number of nightclubs was a “huge tragedy” for UK culture.

He said: “These spaces nurture up and coming talent and are also cultural and social hubs of communities which are now at risk of being lost forever. The Chancellor must consider support based on the important role] this sector plays in the economic recovery of this country.

“Independent businesses across the night-time economy need [the Government] to reinstate the alcohol duty freeze, extend business rates relief and reduce VAT across the board for everyone.”

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