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UK Nightclubs On The Brink Of "Extinction," Says NTIA
Christian Eede , November 20th, 2020 17:31

"Pre-COVID there were over 1400 nightclubs across the UK, but these numbers are reducing daily," a statement says

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has warned that UK nightclubs are on the brink of "extinction," without further government support and a plan of action for their eventual reopening.

Clubs have been shut in the UK since March of this year, shutting their doors as the nation went into its first lockdown, and, in the latest of a string of criticisms of the government's handling of the situation, the NTIA has now said that the current financial provisions available for clubs are largely substantially less than their operating costs, even while closed, while other businesses do not fit the criteria for support at all.

"Pre-COVID there were over 1400 nightclubs across the UK, but these numbers are reducing daily," the NTIA's latest statement says. "Without a roadmap for reopening and with growing financial pressures from dwindling cash reserves, commercial rent and loan debt, many are being forced to close the doors and hand the keys back."

Michael Kill, CEO of the NTIA, adds: "We are on the cusp of losing a cultural institution, the Government has ignored the sector and failed to recognise its economic and cultural value. We are a world leader in electronic music and UK clubs have been a breeding ground for contemporary music talent events and DJs for decades. Nightclubs have made a huge contribution to our culture sector and are renowned globally.

"Nightclubs are continually excluded from many funding provisions and fears are growing for their future as we have yet to see a roadmap or exit strategy which is directly related to these types of businesses. The Government needs to support nightclubs with a robust financial package which is tailored to support businesses that have been closed since March.

"We need a roadmap or a direction of travel so that businesses can plan financially and communicate with their workforce, and we need a solution for commercial rent, as many are already overburdened with debt.

"We are already seeing a huge rise in illegal parties in abandoned warehouses across the UK, people are desperate to socially engage, and our sector are desperate to support the Government by delivering COVID-safe environments to stem the increase in illegal unsafe parties, placing additional pressure on police and emergency services."

The government announced a £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund in July to try to support the UK's ailing culture sector, with one-off grants being distributed to a number of clubs and music venues in August as well as October.

A number of venues have been ineligible for support or have had their applications rejected however, with the Music Venue Trust launching a campaign to help save 30 critically at-risk music venues earlier this month.