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MPs launch urgent inquiry into the impact of COVID-19 on UK nightlife

"Nightlife businesses have been repeatedly overlooked by the government" said the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group

  • Patrick Hinton
  • 11 January 2021
MPs launch urgent inquiry into the impact of COVID-19 on UK nightlife

An urgent inquiry into the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the UK’s night-time economy has been launched in the UK.

The inquiry is being led by the newly formed All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), which is chaired by Labour MP Jeff Smith, who spent several years working in the sector earlier in his career.

The nightlife industry has suffered significantly in the pandemic due to the restrictions required to protect public health. Last month the Night Industries Association (NTIA) warned 75.6% of the UK’s night-time economy businesses face permanent closure.

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The APPG is calling for night time economy businesses, workers and consumers to share evidence about their experiences and views on the challenges facing the sector, its importance to the country’s society and economy, and recommendations for how it can reopen.

Evidence for the inquiry can be submitted via an online survey accessed through the NTIA’s website here. Consultations will take place through this month with a report planned for release in February.

A number of Night Time Economy organisations and representatives will also be contacted to share testimonies.

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Jeff Smith MP said: “As we move now into a third national lockdown, there has never been a more important time for Government to address the urgent needs of Night Time Economy businesses, their supply chains and those that rely on them for employment. Despite playing such a vital role in our local communities and UK economy, nightlife businesses have been repeatedly overlooked by the Government, and we are determined to ensure that the specific challenges facing the sector are addressed. This inquiry will be a vital first step in our work.”

Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, said: “Since March, we have seen the night-time sector berated, scapegoated and even blamed for rising infections. Our sector has slipped through the cracks of insufficient support packages and borne the brunt of ever-changing and inconsistent restrictions. We urge all those who work in the night-time economy, or simply enjoy a night out, to take part in the APPG survey to help policymakers understand the importance of our vital sector.”

Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Features Editor, follow him on Twitter

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