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86,000 UK Nightlife Jobs Lost During Pandemic, Says Report
Christian Eede , October 12th, 2021 15:38

The report, commissioned by the Night Time Industries Association, also estimates that the nighttime sector accounted for 1.6% of the country's GDP prior to the COVID-19 shutdown

Around 86,000 jobs were lost in the UK's nightlife sector as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a report commissioned by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has estimated.

The new report seeks to quantify the economic impact of the COVID-19 shutdown on the wider night-time economy, and particularly on clubs and cultural events in the UK. It also looks at the impact that lockdown measures had on nighttime businesses, and the challenges ahead for the industry as the sector gradually comes back to life.

According to the figures shared in the report, the vale of the UK's nighttime economy in 2019 sat at £36.4 billion, or 1.6% of GDP, with the sector generating 425,000 jobs. Since then, however, around 86,000 jobs have been lost.

The report states that these figures "have implications for the wider economy's recovery from the pandemic, with clear evidence of significant economic 'scarring'." It continues: "While the government is portraying shortages in many sectors as being 'transitional' on the path to a high wage economy, there are fears that many of the jobs lost to the pandemic in the nighttime economy sector will be lost for good, with businesses closing and persistently lower demand for services."

In a statement, NTIA CEO Michael Kill said: "We are pleased to be able to present today this important and timely piece of work quantifying, for the first time, the size of the nighttime economy in the UK. Important, because in my 25-year career working in UK nightlife, it has always struck me as so odd that we did not have a proper accounting of the value of this important sector. Today's report puts that right, and is long overdue."

He continued: "It's timely because, at this moment, governments in Scotland and Wales are pressing ahead with chaotic vaccine passport plans, and the UK government refuses to rule out their use in England. It is the worst possible time to introduce vaccine passports, which will further damage a sector essential to the economic recovery."

Alluding to support that the UK government can continue to provide to the nighttime sector as it gets back on its feet, Kill added: "It is crucial the Chancellor use the upcoming budget to support this beleaguered sector. We are calling for him to extend the 12.5% rate of VAT on hospitality until 2024, include door sales in that reduced rate of VAT, because the present system punishes nightclubs that rely on door sales rather than selling tickets, and for him to ensure there are no increases in alcohol duties – our sector really cannot afford any additional burdens."

You can read the full report here.