Nightlife businesses have seen a 26% rise in their total operating costs in the last year, according to a survey by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA).

Following the survey of nearly 200 NTIA members in England, Scotland and Wales, the organisation said it expected the rise in costs to be compounded by next month’s planned rise in VAT on ticket sales to 20% and a reduction in business rates relief.

The survey also found that on average the businesses operated at 68.9% of their pre-pandemic trading levels, and 90% of respondents said they would require further support from the Government, with the main asks being an extension of the reduced rate of VAT and businesses rates relief, as well as further Government grants.

NTIA CEO Michael Kill said, “These statistics show just how bleak things remain for our sector. I think there is a temptation to think that, because it feels as if the pandemic restrictions are now behind us, that nightlife will just snap back to its pre-pandemic strength and everything will be fine.

“Sadly, this couldn’t be much further from the truth. We are still running into severe economic headwinds, and April threatens to be a perfect storm for the sector. I would now even at this late stage urge the Chancellor to postpone all the tax increases – on national insurance, VAT and business rates – to give some perfectly viable night time economy businesses a fighting chance of survival.”