The NTIA described a “sharp decrease” in the number of nightlife businesses operating in the UK in September 2023 compared to last year - a 5% decline in the space of just 12 months.
The number of nightlife businesses - which includes clubs, bars, and music venues - are now disappearing at a rate of more than 30 a week, down 1,825 in a year.
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“These figures are not just numbers; they represent the livelihoods, dreams, and cultural heritage of our communities,” says NTIA CEO Michael Kill. “The night time economy, which includes a thriving ecosystem of independent businesses, has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and cost inflation.
“The decline in independent businesses is a stark indicator of the immense challenges faced by those who contribute to the vibrancy and soul of our nighttime culture.”
It was also revealed that more than 8,500 Night Time Economy businesses have been lost between 2020 and 2023, and a further 6,000 independent businesses also lost in that period.
The NTIA is now calling on the government to “urgently” address the gravity of the loss of so many businesses, look into extending business relief rates, and reduce VAT to 12.5% to provide “financial lifelines for struggling businesses”.
“As we approach the autumn budget, we implore them to provide proportionate support that will safeguard the future of these independent businesses,” Kill says. “The night time economy is an essential part of our national identity, and it is at risk of fading into the shadows without immediate intervention.”
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter