Update: this story has been amended with a correction. Nightclubs will be available for business rates relief, but classified as ‘assembly and leisure’ as opposed to ‘live music venues’.

The government has published guidance on the application of business rates relief for the hospitality and leisure sector, as part of its Covid-19 response.

Live music venues and nightclubs will classify will for business rates relief, the latter under ‘assembly and leisure’ classification.

Lex Butler, Chair of the HBAA, said rates relief is needed urgently for many in the leisure & hospitality industry. She said: “Commercial rent relief is urgently needed to sustain the life of many agencies and venues now and in next few months.

“With payments being unacceptably withheld and Government funding delayed, as I feared, many are in danger of not surviving this crisis.”

A period of three months’ rent relief would make all the difference to hundreds of organisations whose cashflow is currently in a perilous state.

“Landlords have support giving a verified three month mortgage holiday but there’s nothing legislated for commercial renters, only the promise that they can’t be evicted in the next 3 months. This impacts on both agencies and venues which rental premises.

“With payments and commission being unacceptably withheld, Government funding delayed until June and loans payments slow, it looks as if, as I feared, that too many events industry businesses are in danger of not surviving this crisis. A period of three months’ rent relief would make all the difference to hundreds of organisations whose cashflow is currently in a perilous state.”