A legal challenge is being launched against the government’s impending lockdown on nightlife and hospitality venues in the North of England.

The challenge comes from the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) and Sacha Lord, Greater Manchester’s night time economy adviser who recently joined the NTIA board.

Lord, writing on LinkedIn, said: “Despite discussions and ongoing calls for data, we have not yet been shown any tangible scientific evidence to merit a full closure of the hospitality and entertainment sectors across Greater Manchester.

“We have therefore been left with little choice but to escalate the matter further. We have now engaged lawyers to begin a Judicial Review into the legality of the emergency restrictions due to be imposed on the hospitality and entertainment sectors.”

The legal challenge runs alongside another legal challenge by Jeremy Joseph, founder and owner of the G-A-Y nightclub and pub group.

Joseph has launched a legal challenge against the 10pm curfew affecting the remainder of the UK. Kings Chambers & Simpson Miller are engaged in a judicial review, and are seeking evidence to back up the 10pm curfew policy.

Joseph said the 10pm curfew does not have enough evidence to support it, and that the effects of it will be devastating. He said: “It does the opposite of protecting people by pushing them onto the street at the same time. They are going from being safe inside venues with staggered closing times to unsafe on overcrowded streets and overloaded public transport.

“This Government has failed to show why the 10.00pm curfew was put in place and has published no scientific evidence to substantiate its implementation. It seems to direct the blame for this action on the sector, consistently treating the night time economy as a scapegoat when, in fact, we have years of operational experience of keeping customers safe, and have spent substantial time and effort making sure our venues are Covid secure.”

Michael Kill, CEO of the NTIA, said:”The industry has been left with no other option but to legally challenge the so called ‘common sense’ approach narrative from Government, on the implementation of further restrictions across the North of England.
“These new measures will have a catastrophic impact on late night businesses, and are exacerbated further by an insufficient financial support package presented by the Chancellor in an attempt to sustain businesses through this period.”


Pictured: Manchester’s The Warehouse Project, co-founded by Sacha Lord