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NTIA Issues Warning About Rent Crisis Facing Venues
Christian Eede , May 14th, 2021 15:48

Up to 75% of nightlife venues could face bankruptcy when rent suspensions end in July, the group has said

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has issued a stark warning that 75% of the UK's music venues and other nightlife businesses are facing a bankruptcy 'cliff edge' without urgent rent support from the government.

Speaking this week to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Night Time Economy, the NTIA's Michael Kill warned that a £2.5 billion rent crisis, which is a result of clubs being unable to operate amid the COVID-19 pandemic, risked leaving a number of clubs and other music venues with no option but to close for good if an end to the government's rent moratorium goes ahead as planned at the end of July.

In a written letter to the UK government, the group additionally warned that this would result in tens of thousands of job losses across the sector.

"Time is not on our side and business owners are continuing to take on further rent debt throughout this period of restrictions," said Kill. "This will inevitably compromise their future and the regeneration of the industry. This needs urgent government intervention and will require the government to bring forward a policy that allows tenants, landlords, and government to share the burden of debt from rent arrears."

Having conducted a survey of 360 corporate, small and medium-sized businesses within the sector, the NTIA found that 80% of commercial tenants are still facing unproductive discussions about rent arrears with their landlords, while 75% of commercial tenants will be forced to look at insolvency or restructuring if further support is not provided after the rent moratorium.

Additionally, 93% of commercial tenants have encountered substantial job losses and 70% believe there will be further redundancies post-moratorium. The group is advocating for a rent model similar to one in place in Australia, in which there is a shared burden between tenants and landlords. The group says that 92% of commercial tenants that responded to its survey also supported the idea.

This latest warning from the NTIA follows on from the group saying many UK nightclubs were on the brink of "extinction" without greater help from the government.