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Christian Eede
3 April 2023, 17:53

UK Government intentionally closing clubs, NTIA says

"The current Government has never recognised the value of this sector," the organisation's CEO said

UK Government intentionally closing clubs, NTIA says
Toby Keane

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has alleged that the UK Government is intentionally allowing nightclubs across the country to close at an alarming rate.

The group said that this is a result of the Government's energy relief scheme ending this month, which will heavily impact many clubs, as well as other businesses and households, amid soaring energy prices.

The National Minimum Wage also decreased at the start of this month, while operating costs are continuing to rise at a dangerous rate amid the cost of living crisis. Some venues partnered with the NTIA fear that operation costs will increase by over 100% in the coming months.

"Nightclubs are a British institution, and are the bridge for many consumers to counter culture, a platform for artists new and old to perform and access audiences, for people to dance and socialise, supporting their physical, social and mental well being," said NTIA CEO Michael Kill. "The current Government has never recognised the value of this sector, and will continue to undermine its importance, as it did in the late '80s when the scene came together to fight for the freedom to dance.

"Our European counterparts work hard to recognise the value and importance of clubs and venues and lead the way in support and true collaboration, while the UK sees one of its greatest exports as a burden on policing and local Government. Over the coming months, we will see the impacts of Government inaction take hold, and many important night time economy businesses will be lost.

"Intentionally shutting down our dance floors, Ignoring the immediate issue and accepting the losses is not an acceptable approach, and will have a considerable impact on the future of the sector, but will not be forgotten. It is inevitable that we will see a growing anger and frustration amongst the industry and supporters to take direct action, and we will be standing with them."

Last summer, the NTIA was one of a number of UK-based groups from the nightlife and hospitality industries that warned that the energy crisis would put the future of clubs and venues at "grave risk".