Today, 9 December, a group of cross-party MPs and Peers came together to establish an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Night Time Economy.
Welcoming the move, The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) said it comes as the sector and its supply chains face collapse due to disproportionate Covid restrictions combined with insufficient sector specific financial support from Government.
The group, chaired by Labour MP Jeff Smith, will provide a key voice for the sector in parliament to address the immediate Covid-induced crisis and future challenges.
The NTIA said the current crisis is an existential threat to the Night Time Industry sector: “The sector has borne the brunt of Covid restrictions with many businesses ordered to remain closed since March. There has been widespread concern across the sector that it has been particularly under-represented politically, and undervalued both culturally and economically in Government, with many misconceptions around business models and market segmentation.
“In a positive step for the sector, the inaugural meeting of the APPG marks the recognition of the specific challenges facing night-time businesses and a new dialogue between the sector and parliamentarians across the political spectrum.”
The new APPG will be supported by the NTIA, which will provide industry insight and secretariat services to the group.
APPG chair Jeff Smith MP said, “The night-time sector is hugely important to both the UK economy and our cultural identity. But in the past nine months, it has faced enormous challenges, and thousands of bars, nightclubs, and live events businesses are at risk of collapse.
“As a former events manager and DJ, I feel strongly about the importance of these businesses, so I am pleased to be chairing the new cross-party group to support night-time industries. We will be working hard to ensure that this usually viable, thriving and world-leading sector can not only survive the Covid crisis, but prepare for a prosperous, long-term recovery.”