NTIA: Nightclub losses are ‘national tragedy’

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

NTIA warning: independent venues are feeling the pain more so (credit: getty/Predrag Vuckovic)
NTIA warning: independent venues are feeling the pain more so (credit: getty/Predrag Vuckovic)

Related tags NTIA Legislation Government Finance Health and safety

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) CEO Michael Kill has described the demise of UK nightclubs as a “national tragedy”.

Kill gave his view after explaining statistics from CGA show 67 nightclubs were lost during the first three months of 2024, which equals five closures per week.

Of these closures, the NTIA said almost four, on average, are independent businesses, resulting in the shutdown of 48 independent closures and 19 managed or tenanted establishments.

The trade body, which promotes a vibrant, safe and inclusive night-time pubs, bars and club scene, said the decline represents a concerning trend, with a 40% decrease in independent nightclubs over the past four years.

10% decline

In the past year alone, the UK has lost 81 nightclubs, marking a significant 10% decline. Among these closures are 59 independent venues and 22 managed or tenanted establishments.

NTIA CEO Michael Kill expressed profound dismay over these figures, emphasising the cultural and social significance of nightclubs as integral components of the UK's nightlife.

He lamented the rapid pace of closures, revealing that the country has been losing just under 10 nightclubs per month, with more than two closures occurring every week since March 2020.

Kill attributed much of this decline to a combination of factors, including insufficient support during the pandemic, mounting debt burdens and soaring operating costs. He underscored the urgent need for policymakers to intervene and provide meaningful support to prevent further losses.

Irreparable damage

“The decimation of our nightclub industry is a national tragedy,” stated Kill. “Without immediate intervention and meaningful support from policymakers, we risk irreparable damage to our cultural heritage and the fabric of our communities, the Government must consider a VAT cut through fiscal intervention prior to the general election – businesses cannot wait.”

Earlier this month, Kill welcomed the Home Office’s decision to extend hours for the European Championship finals​, labelling the move as a “game-changer” for the late-night industry.

He said: “This timely boost comes as a lifeline for sectors facing immense economic pressure. It’s heartening to see Government proactively supporting trading opportunities, especially after genuine consultation where our voices were heard.

“This move not only bolsters financial prospects but also revitalises the vibrant spirit of our night-time economy. We applaud this collaborative effort and urge for continued support to keep our industries thriving.”

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