‘What will you do for nightlife?’ NTIA challenges political parties

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

(image: Getty/	Flashpop)
(image: Getty/ Flashpop)

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The Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) has challenged political parties, asking them what they will do for the sector ahead of the general election.

The trade body has previously called for the incoming Government to prioritise the night-time economy​.

It outlined a number of key proposals, which it said were aimed at fostering growth, resilience and sustainability.

Furthermore, the NTIA also called for a night-time economy minister​ to help safeguard the future of nightlife.

CEO Michael Kill said: “The night-time economy has suffered irreparable damage throughout the pandemic and now due to the cost-of-living crisis.

“We have advocated for a ground zero moment – an opportunity to create a foundation that will allow businesses to recover and return to pre-pandemic trading conditions/

“The NTIA’s ‘Darkest Before the Dawn’ manifesto has been shared with thousands of politicians across the UK.

“It contains 44 clear industry-driven requests to electoral candidates and aims to provide direction and a strategy for the incoming Government to hit the ground running."

Broad brush commitments

Kill added: “Over the course of the past week, we have seen a considerable amount of broad brush commitments within manifestos released by all political parties and have been somewhat frustrated by the lack of detail and substance.

“All have highlighted the commitment to the revaluation of sector-specific business rates, intimated there would be a continuation of the alcohol duty freeze but no short-term VAT reduction.”

The NTIA boss said it was encouraging to see the Conservative party listened to the NTIA’s recent call for more detail and some of its key asks from the trade body’s manifesto had been adopted.

He added: “One of our primary manifesto requests is to shift departmental responsibility from regulatory control under the Home Office to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), alongside appointing a dedicated minister for the night-time economy.

“This minister would be responsible for developing a centralised strategy to influence national and local policy.

“It is without doubt we need the new Government to re-revaluate our licensing and planning systems, removing red tape and unnecessary regulatory burdens and moving towards a system that is proportionate, fair and consistent.

“They need to work towards supporting and protecting cultural spaces across the night-time economy, the breeding group of new talent and artists who are the foundation of our cultural tapestry."

Sector impact

“These spaces should have the same consideration as galleries, castles, museums and theatres under a cultural protection scheme, beginning with the push for the Agent of Chance principle to become primary legislation," Kill said.

“It is clear this is only a start and the industry needs these commitments and more.”

He went on to outline the economic impact the night-time sector has and number of people employed.

“I would ask all political parties not to underestimate the soft power we represent. Our industry generates more than £136bn in annual revenue, employs over 2m people and is one of the largest employers of individuals under 30, with millions attending our events and venues each year,” Kill said.

“Our call to all political parties in the race to represent your respective regions in Government is clear – What will you do for nightlife?”

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