A new report has outlined the economic and cultural value of the UK's nightlife scene.
Titled Forward Into The Night, the report has been commissioned by the recently formed lobbying organisation Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) ahead of the 24-hour weekend tube service that starts in London this September.
It states that the UK's restaurants, pubs, bars and clubs contribute £66 billion to the UK's economy. "Lighting up our streets, employing 8 percent of our workforce—a large proportion of whom are young—paying business rates and as active stakeholders in our local communities, our industry simply makes Britain better," writes Alan D. Miller, chairman of the NTIA.
The report also tackles the issue of crime and safety. "The attempt to extend regulation of the night-time economy or curb its activities will do very little to reduce the problem of alcoholism or violent crime," it reads. "Venues are now safer than ever. Most alcohol is consumed outside licensed pubs and bars."
Miller will be part of a panel discussion titled "Fight For Your Right To Party? Justice, Money, Power" at the City Of London Festival on Thursday, June 25th. For more details on that, go here.
The report presented a series of recommendations relating to UK nightlife. Here they are in full:
- For the night-time economy (NTE) to flourish in the UK, the industry needs to work together to collectively gain favour with policymakers and the police
- The evident social and cultural readjustment to the night-time economy should be accounted for through fair regulation across licensing, planning, entry procedures, and crime. The police and local authorities need to realise the value to the NTE has to local communities
- Nationally, licensing frameworks should work with operators to better support venues while ensuring the safe and effective operation of the industry
- Crime classifications need to be revisited so as to recognise that crime associated with the night-time economy is not committed by venues, but against them
- We should be encouraging a nationally accepted code of conduct for the industry, which ensures best practice, and protects the individual venues that are operating to the standards imposed and accepted by the industry
- The nature of the conversation around the industry needs to change—to support and champion one of the UK's most culturally significant industries, rather than belittle and stifle it
- Regular research into the quantitative value of the NTE should be undertaken, to ensure that policymakers and industry are made aware of the contribution to UK culture, economy and society
For more on the state of the UK's nightlife, read Ray Philp's recent RA piece, The Arches And The Trouble With UK Nightlife.
Photo credit: Fresh To Death