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UK venues experiencing 30% increase in costs compared to pre-pandemic, survey finds

Many nightlife businesses have reported that they are "unsure" whether they will last beyond the next year

UK venues experiencing 30% increase in costs compared to pre-pandemic, survey finds

Soaring inflation amid the UK's cost of living crisis is having a significant impact on the UK's nightlife industry, according to a new survey by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA).

Seeking the views of around 200 nightlife businesses in the UK, the NTIA's research concluded that almost half are "unsure" of whether they will still be business beyond the next year, while more than half of the surveyed businesses reported a 30% increase in operating costs compared to pre-pandemic levels.

This has been attributed to the UK's cost of living crisis, which has seen energy prices soar, alongside costs associated with various business supplies such as food and drink.

Another of the concerning findings to have emerged from the NTIA's research is that 48% of the businesses reached out to have said they are currently "barely breaking even", and 20% of those also say they are frequently losing money as things stand.

In addition to rising prices, those in the events industries are facing supply chain issues associated with Brexit, soaring insurance premiums, a shortage of trained staff with many having left during the closures of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the possibility of having to pay back pandemic debts.

The businesses surveyed have seen a 37% increase in energy costs on average since reopening. Many businesses and promoters are also struggling to sell tickets for events as the cost of living crisis forces many people to cut costs and eats into their disposable income. 15% of the survey's respondents told the NTIA they have lost as much as half of their pre-pandemic trade.

In a statement issued alongside the NTIA's research, the organisation's CEO, Michael Kill, said: "

These figures are extremely hard to ignore, the situation is worsening day by day, with operating costs becoming untenable. We are starting to see the impact on customers through slowing ticket sales, bookings and frequency of visits.

"Our industry is still extremely fragile, many will struggle to survive another crisis. Time is running out, the Chancellor must act now, and answer the calls from the industry to reduce VAT back down to 12.5%, and [introduce] an energy cap for SME businesses."

Read the full findings of the NTIA's survey here.