- The inquiry, led by Jeff Smith MP and backed by dozens more, surveyed 20,000 stakeholders across the industry.
A new government report into Covid-19 and UK nightlife has found that the industry could face "extinction" without urgent intervention.
The inquiry, which was launched in January by a new all-party parliamentary group (APPG) led by Jeff Smith MP and backed by more than 40 MPs, paints a bleak picture for UK nightlife. The findings are based on a survey of around 20,000 industry players, including consumers, employers and freelancers.
According to the report, nightlife businesses have on average made 37 percent of their workforce redundant, while 85 percent of people across the industry are currently considering leaving.
"Our findings today reveal this industry is on its knees, in desperate need of additional support from the government and a concrete plan for reopening," says Smith. "Without these interventions, many of these viable businesses will go under, leaving city and town centres resembling ghost towns. If the government is serious about its 'levelling up' agenda it must act now to save this sector and avoid untold damage to the social fabric of this country."
The report includes several recommendations to Boris Johnson's government, such as appointing a night-time economy advisor, providing a nightlife-specific support package and extending the furlough scheme until businesses can operate fully. It also suggests creating a roadmap for reopening late-night venues based on the current vaccination programme and mass testing—an idea already floated by Johnson earlier this week.
"From artists to engineers, bar staff to security, and production to promoters—they have shown great resilience in the face of adversity," says Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), which acts as secretariat to the APPG. "But resilience only gets you so far without the required support. We need more assistance and a detailed plan for reopening now. Otherwise, much of what defines a night out in the UK will be lost forever."
Read the report in full.
Photo credit: Nick Fewings