NTIA warns over 80% of UK clubs will not survive past February

Crowd in a nightclub
© Giulia Spadafora | Soul Media

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has warned that without further support from the government, 81% of clubs in the UK will not survive past the coming weeks.

In a new statement published today (4 February) NTIA states that nightclubs and late night venues have been given limited, and, in many cases, “hugely disproportionate” support for the past 12 months. These venues have continued to suffer “extreme financial hardship”, the statement continues, with many of these venues now seeing the end of February as the “last stand for their future.”

The figure published by NTIA formed part of a recent survey of over 100 venues. According to NTIA, 86% of clubs have made redundancies, and over 65% have made 60% of the workforce redundant before the end of 2020. Elsewhere, 43% of nightclubs surveyed said that they had not received any grant support from the UK government.

Michael Kill, CEO of NTIA, outlined several factors that will result in the closure of venues and clubs in 2021. These factors include lack of government support, proposed changes to planning laws which would allow landlords to convert venues into housing, the absence of an exit strategy to re-open the sector in line with the government vaccination rollout, and the inability for venues to access support from financial institutions.

NTIA expressed concerns on the matter late last year, and stated that clubs were on the brink of “extinction” due to the government’s lack of funding during the pandemic.

The new statement from NTIA features comments from a roster of DJs, venue owners and promoters. Manchester-based DJ and musician DJ Paulette writes: “Since March 2020, the arts and events sector (that contributes billions each year to the UK economy and has immeasurable value in terms of its societal / social and mental health benefits) has been unable to operate to any effective level and unable to offer anyone the right to stay, the right to play, the right to work or somewhere to go placing brutal pressure on the commercial landscape.”

“Whilst rents and taxes continue to cripple businesses, this situation is reaching critical mass. A watertight rescue package is needed in order to support and restore the sector and to help it to return to world-beating form.”

In November, Music Venue Trust launched a traffic light campaign to highlight venues in crisis. A colour-coded map showed that 30 grassroots music venues in the UK were at risk of imminent closure. You can help nightclubs by donating to a national fund, launched by Save Our Venues.