The new research from Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) shows that the UK night-time cultural sector had been hit hard due to Covid-19. Approximately 393,000 jobs were lost, including 86,000 in the NTCE (night-time cultural economy).
The night-time sector, including restaurants, bars, casinos, cultural venues and more had been growing up in the last decade and reached its peak in 2019. The NTCE had been projected to grow, with extra 425,000 people employed that year. The forecast hasn’t happened and the coronavirus crisis brought job losses instead, due to venues being forced to close.
NTIA AND NDML RELEASE A ‘STUDY OF THE NIGHT TIME ECONOMY’ CGA REPORT:
— Night Time Industries Association (@wearethentia) October 11, 2021
Michael Kill, a CEO of NTIA commented on the case: “it is the worst possible time to introduce vaccine passports, which will further damage a sector essential to the economic recovery“. At the moment, vaccine passports are required in Scotland and Wales, with a plan to introduce them elsewhere been dismissed.
Sacha Lord, an event promoter and Manchesters economy adviser said: “We’re in a dire position and in order to recover to pre-pandemic levels, we need investment, strategy and most importantly, top-level acknowledgement of the industry’s contribution to the UK economy. Take any city, town or village in the UK, and you’ll find its pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants are central to its recovery“.
“The nightlife scene is critical to our post-Brexit, post-Covid future and economic growth, and to ignore it would be a devastating blow to our cultural reputation” he continues.
Kill said about the report that it’s an important and long-overdue “piece of work” as “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“.
Christian Wakeford, the Night-Time Economy and Conservative MP said regarding the issue: “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“.
There’s pressure on the Chancellor to use the budget wisely and support the night-life sector with the extension of “the 12.5 per cent 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“.
Last month UK Government scrapped plans to introduce vaccine passports to gain entry into an event. The scheme was announced earlier in the year but fortunately for the night-life economy, it’s been dismissed. Scottish Government hoverer put it into life on 1st October, Wales followed that path and introduced compulsory Covid Pass today (11th October.
As per new law in Wales “all over-18s need one to enter nightclubs, indoor non-seated events for more than 500 people, such as concerts or conventions, outdoor non-seated events for more than 4,000 people and any setting or event with more than 10,000 people in attendance. People will also be able to show they have had a negative lateral flow test result within the last 48 hours“.
Fake coronavirus test results and vaccination status will be treated as a criminal offence and face penalty notice.
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat