Lockdown lifting delay could be death knell for UK nightclubs, warns industry chief

Night time economy bosses have accused Boris Johnson of sounding the death knell for UK nightclubs after further delays to the lifting of lockdown were announced last week.

The lobby group Night Time Industries Association fear the accelerated demise of the UK’s fifth largest industry, and Michael Kill, CEO of NTIA, has accused the PM of ‘switching the lights off’ on nightclubs and night time businesses nationwide.

After night time businesses across the country waited in anticipation for the 21st June, so-called ‘Freedom Day’, only to be informed of another month’s delay, many now fear closure.

Mr Kill said: “Many businesses have not survived this pandemic and others are on a financial cliff-edge, unable to operate viably. 

“Hundreds of thousands of jobs have already been lost, a huge pool of creative talent has been swept away, and we have been left to suffer extreme financial hardship.”

He added that many of these businesses are overburdened with debt, therefore any delay would need to be paired with robust financial support, such as additional extension grants and VAT relief for the next 12 months.

The NTIA conducted a flash survey on 300 NTE businesses, and found that 54% had spent over £15,000 in preparation for reopening on 21st June, and 17.8% had spent over £40,000.

Mr Kill added: ““Distressed industries cannot continue to be held in limbo, with thousands of businesses left to fall. 

“This delay, which again offers no clarity on when businesses can open, is leaving many in the industry angry and frustrated, alongside other industries who have been locked down or restricted from opening through no fault of their own, and at their own cost.”

Photo by Dean Machala on Unsplash

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