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Around 80% Of UK Nightclubs Could Close After Coronavirus Leaves Them Cash-Strapped

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Around 80% Of UK Nightclubs Could Close After Coronavirus Leaves Them Cash-Strapped

UK clubs have been closed for almost a year, having shut their doors for lockdown one all the way back in March, as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

And now the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has warned that the scene could be on the verge of "extinction" if the government don't act quickly to save it.

After surveying more than 100 nightclubs, the NTIA found that a concerning 50 per cent of the venues said they were in more than three months' rent arrears.

Meanwhile, 88 per cent were in two months' rent arrears, and 86 per cent of the surveyed nightclubs had been forced to make redundancies.

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Usually packed bars and clubs are now gathering dust (Credit: PA)
Usually packed bars and clubs are now gathering dust (Credit: PA)

The research also found that more than 65 per cent of those who made redundancies laid off over 60 per cent of their staff last year.

The NTIA blamed "a lack of appropriate financial support for the sector from the Government," as one of the reasons behind this, adding that 43 per cent of the nightclubs surveyed hadn't received any grant support.

The association added that there was also a "lack of transparent exit strategy for reopening the sector in line with the government vaccination rollout".

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Meanwhile, "proposed changes to planning laws that would allow landlords to convert venues into housing" were also a cause for worry.

80 per cent of clubs could be shut down next month (Credit: Egg London)
80 per cent of clubs could be shut down next month (Credit: Egg London)

Michael Kill, CEO of the NTIA, warned that on March 31st, at the end of the forfeiture moratorium - which had meant that commercial landlords can't evicting businesses for missing rent - many nightclub owners could be turfed out, with landlords "reclaiming their property and utilising [the proposed changes to planning reform] to convert many of our much-loved cultural spaces and social environments into housing".

"Throughout this pandemic and the restrictive measures levied against the sector, it is clear that these businesses are being systematically eradicated from society," he added.

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This comes after more than £257m was given to arts venues back in October, as part of the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund.

Venues like Printworks, London, used to hold as many as 4000 people (Credit: Printworks London)
Venues like Printworks, London, used to hold as many as 4000 people (Credit: Printworks London)

But several nightclubs claimed did not receive government grants, such as Egg London and East London's The Pickle Factory.

Jo Splain, who works across The Pickle Factory and Oval Space, said at the time: "I am still at a loss as to how our venues have not received any support from the Cultural Recovery Fund.

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"If spaces more closely aligned with authentic club culture have for some reason been overlooked by this fund, then there simply must be alternative financial support made available to them.

"These are the places where groundbreaking artists and creatives first present their work, often years before they achieve mainstream recognition and are recognised as being of cultural importance.

"The effect of losing venues such as these will damage the cultural landscape of our cities immeasurably and will be felt for generations to come."

Featured Image Credit: Egg London

Topics: Life News, Life, Coronavirus, Covid-19

Joanna Freedman
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