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Night Time Industries Association calls for urgent rethink from government regarding sector support

By | Published on Monday 4 April 2022

Night Time Industries Association

The Night Time Industries Association has called on the UK Chancellor Of The Exchequer Rishi Sunak to “go back to the drawing board” following his recent spring budget statement, which was widely criticised by the live music and night-time sectors.

Although grassroots venues will benefit from the extension of a business rates discount that was included in Sunak’s recent statement, none of the other support measures called for by the live music and night-time sectors were included. In particular, venues and promoters had hoped that a VAT discount on tickets put in place during the COVID pandemic would be extended.

With rising costs across the board, including the controversial surge in energy prices, the NTIA says that a night-time sector that is still very much in recovery mode after two years of COVID-caused disruption is going to struggle to get through the next six months, and further support from government is urgently required.

NTIA CEO Michael Kill states: “The spring budget really epitomises the very clear disengagement and lack of grassroots understanding of our industry by the government. Following two years of lockdowns and restrictions, and now the uncertainty of crisis overseas and the exceptional levels of cost inflation being experienced by operators, surely this government cannot think this spring statement will help anybody, consumer or businesses alike”.

“The industry has lost over a third of nightclubs across the UK in the last two years, and with the withdrawal of financial reliefs including VAT, and growing concern over cost inflation, as new contracts are being signed, we are set for many more businesses to be lost with jobs to follow over the next twelve months”, he adds.

“Once again our industry is facing a very bleak period, the feedback from members and wider industry is that this is not sustainable, and will lead to unprecedented price increases, in an environment where customers have less disposable income”, he concludes. “I would urge the Chancellor to revisit the spring budget, as autumn will be too late for many”.