A third of late-night venues in the UK could shut within a month without government support, according to a survey by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA).
The NTIA’s survey of more than 500 nightclubs, bars, pubs and hospitality venues across the UK found that one-fifth of nightlife businesses could lose entire workforces amid the spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant.
The survey, conducted on 18-19 December, found that venues have lost £46,000 per site on average in sales and cancellations during the festive period.
Half of all businesses surveyed said they would have to terminate over 50% of jobs if the government does not provide financial help, while more than half of venues that are required to introduce Covid certification said footfall was down by more than 40%.
Since 15 December it has been a requirement to show an NHS Covid Pass or negative lateral flow test to enter nightclubs and other large-capacity venues, as part of the prime minister’s Plan B measures.
NTIA CEO Michael Kill described the current period as a “cataclysmic Christmas” for late-night venues.
Kill said, “It really is a chilling prospect to see so many venues in our sector left to bleed, with a lockdown in everything but name and absolutely no recognition of this from the government.
“These venues have faced over 20 months of financial hardship and the Christmas trade period was integral to keeping those surviving businesses afloat in the upcoming year.
“The government have had 20 months to learn how our sector operates; it is beggars belief we stand here again, as if back in March 2020, imploring the government to listen to us, to understand how businesses work and to realise that inaction is a death sentence for our industry.”
The prime minister announced on 20 December that the government will keep data under review while telling the public to “be cautious” during the festive period.
In response to the announcement, LIVE CEO Greg Parmley said it was “merely an excuse to withhold desperately needed financial support as sectors like live music and entertainment buckle under the weight of the latest Covid wave.”
Parmley said, “We need guidance and clarity now so that businesses can make the best decisions possible without putting at risk their tentative recovery.”