Lockdown roadmap: Nightclubs face ‘extinction’ without urgent intervention, MPs warn

Credit: Hendo Wang

Many nightclubs and music venues will not survive the pandemic without urgent Government intervention, MPs have warned.

The night-time economy has been particularly hard-hit during the Covid-19 crisis, with many venues having been shut since last March.

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted during a Downing Street press conference that rapid testing could be used to help venues like nightclubs reopen.

Now, a group of 40 MPs has issued a report warning that 85% of people working in the night-time economy are considering leaving the industry and 78% of those employed in the sector have at some point been on furlough.

Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, said Covid-19 has had a “devastating impact” on the sector.

“Every day I speak with the dedicated people that make up this industry – from artists to engineers, bar staff to security, and production to promoters – they have shown great resilience in the face of adversity.

“But resilience only gets you so far without the required support.

“We need more assistance and a detailed plan for reopening now. Otherwise, much of what defines a night out in the UK will be lost forever.”

A Government spokesman said: “The Prime Minister will set out our plan on Monday 22 February for reopening our economy in a way that is cautious but also irreversible.

“Nightclubs can continue to access our comprehensive package of business support worth over £280 billion, which includes a one-off grant of up to £9,000, monthly grants of up to £3,000, various loan schemes, a business rates holiday, as well as the extended furlough scheme.”