Many nightclub owners considering legal action as sector faces 'extinction'

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Many nightclub owners considering legal action as sector faces 'extinction' GAY judicial review NTIA

Related tags Night time economy Coronavirus

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) says it fears nightclubs will become 'extinct' in UK culture as businesses continue to face no roadmap for reopening and growing financial pressures.

It claims business owners within the night time economy are 'frustrated and angry' at being forced to remain closed despite working within the Government guidance and 'many' are now considering taking legal action. 

Most nightclubs have been forced to remain shut since the beginning of the first national lockdown in March.

“We are on the cusp of losing a cultural institution, the Government has ignored the sector and failed to recognise its economic and cultural value,” says Michael Kill, CEO of NTIA.

“We are a world leader in electronic music and UK clubs have been a breeding ground for contemporary music talent events and DJs for decades. Nightclubs have made a huge contribution to our culture sector and are renowned globally.

“The club scene is fighting to survive, we want the children of today to have careers and opportunities within the sector, but also be able to experience an industry that is a huge part of British culture and heritage spanning decades.

“Nightclubs are continually excluded from many of funding provisions and fears are growing for their future as we have yet to see a roadmap or exit strategy which directly related to these types of businesses.”

The NTIA, which represents 1,200 independent bars, clubs and live music venues across the UK, believes Government restrictions have made nightclubs 'systematically unviable', with business owners presented with debt as their only survival option.

Jeremy Joseph, who owns London’s G-A-Y nightclub in Soho, recently launched a legal challenge, which is backed by the NTIA, against the Government's 10pm curfew.

Despite a court refusing permission for the case to go ahead, Joseph has said he's 'not giving up' on the challenge​, with a second court hearing now set to take place on 3 December.

According to the NTIA there were over 1,400 Nightclubs across the UK prior to the pandemic, but those numbers are 'reducing daily'.

"We are already seeing hundreds of nightclubs being squeezed out of the marketplace and on top of that thousands of redundancies," continues Kill.

“The Government needs to support nightclubs with a robust financial package, which is tailored to support businesses that have been closed since March.

“We need a roadmap or a direction of travel so that businesses can plan financially and communicate with their workforce, and we need a solution for commercial rent, as many are already overburdened with debt."

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