Industry leaders call on nightlife fans to submit evidence to Parliamentary inquiry
Industry leaders from across the Night Time Economy have called on all music fans and nightlife lovers to take part in a new parliamentary inquiry on Covid-19 and the Night Time Economy.
After the successful launch of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Night Time Economy in December, the group of cross-party MPs and Peers met again yesterday to continue crucial discussions on the challenges facing the nightlife sector due to Covid-19 and the ensuing restrictions. The meeting was attended by several representatives from the Night Time Economy, including the Night Time Industries Association, UK Hospitality, UK Music, Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy advisor for Greater Manchester and Amy Lamé, the Night Czar of the City of London.
The APPG has launched an urgent inquiry into the impact of Covid-19 on UK nightlife and is investigating how the sector can reopen and recover from the pandemic. Now, industry leaders from across the sector have urged all music fans, nightlife lovers and Night Time Economy workers to take part.
An industry-wide online survey has been launched by the APPG and is asking for employers, employees, freelancers and consumers to take part and share their views on how the sector has been affected by the pandemic and its importance to the cultural and economic life of the UK.
The survey has already received several thousand responses, which will help to provide those in government a greater understanding of nightlife industries and the specific challenges facing the sector.
The survey can be accessed at: www.ntia.co.uk/appg
Speaking at the APPG meeting, Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, noted that the sector had been decimated by the pandemic and is in desperate need of a clear exit strategy. He said:
“Commercial rents have been a travesty, with over 70% of businesses within the sector in more than 2 quarters of rent arrears and with debts mounting day by day. Time is running out and there seems to be no rush to find a resolution.”
”We are overwhelmed by the support that the APPG has received in a very short period of time and look forward to analysing the results from the inquiry to present a formal report to the Government. We ask all those who work in the Night Time Economy, or simply enjoy a night out, to continue sending in your responses to our survey to make your voices heard.”
Kate Nicholls, CEO of UK Hospitality, said:
“The night time economy is a key component of the hospitality sector. Two thirds of town centre revenue is generated after six o’clock and one third after 10 o’clock.
For almost a whole year, our hospitality businesses have traded below profitability and just 1 in 5 have enough cash to get beyond February. Businesses cannot plan, cannot negotiate with landlords, and cannot see a way out of this crisis while they have no certainty about when they will reopen, the conditions in which they reopen, and the support available. With the right support, the Night Time Economy can get back to being the engine of economic growth for our towns and cities to recover and flourish.”
Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, Chief Executive of UK Music, said:
“When the time for the post-pandemic recovery comes, the music industry can help power our country’s economic and cultural revival. But to play that key role in the recovery phase, we must ensure our sector gets the support it needs to survive through the worst of the pandemic.
“This is a welcome inquiry that recognises the both the vital importance of the Night Time Economy and the existential challenges it has faced over the course of this pandemic – and is focused on finding clear solutions to ensure our industries can make it to the other side of the pandemic.”
Sacha Lord, co-founder of Parklife Festival and Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, said:
“Sadly, over the last 10 months, we have seen many closures and job losses and without an intervention of support, we are going to see many many more. We know the 10pm curfew wasn’t a SAGE decision and, in fact, actually helped to spread the virus by pushing hundreds and thousands of people out onto the streets at the same time.
Our industry has been damaged by leaks and rumours, and it is imperative that there is clarity, transparency and a clear roadmap so that businesses have time and enough warning to open in a safe fashion.”
Amy Lamé, Night Czar for the City of London, said:
“London’s nightlife is the envy of the world and a major contributor to our economy, but it has been devastated by the impact of COVID-19. It urgently needs financial support from Government if we are to have any chance of saving the hospitality and wider night-time economy. That means targeted financial support for those that have had to close, an extension to the business rates and VAT holiday, as well as support for the freelancers who are so integral to the industry but often excluded from the support packages. Otherwise we may not have any venues to return to when the restrictions are lifted.”