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APPG launches inquiry into the devastating impact of COVID on the night-time economy

By | Published on Monday 11 January 2021

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The newly formed All Party Parliamentary Group For The Night Time Economy has launched an urgent inquiry into the devastating impact that COVID-19 has had on the wider night-time sector. To help, MPs in the group are urging venue, entertainment and hospitality businesses, and employees and freelancers who work in the sector, as well as nightlife consumers, to submit evidence via an online survey.

APPGs are informal groupings within Parliament focused on specific issues or interests. The night-time economy-focused group was launched last month in response to the significant challenges faced by the clubbing, hospitality and live entertainment industries as a result of the ever-extending COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the rollout of the COVID vaccines means there is now light at the end of the tunnel, with the UK back into full-on lockdown a night-time economy already on the brink faces many more uncertainties in the months ahead. And while some night-time businesses have been able to access general and culture-sector-specific COVID support from the government, reps for the sector have repeatedly called on ministers to do more.

Announcing the inquiry, the chair of the APPG, Jeff Smith MP, said: “As we move now into a third national lockdown, there has never been a more important time for government to address the urgent needs of night-time economy businesses, their supply chains and those that rely on them for employment. Despite playing such a vital role in our local communities and UK economy, nightlife businesses have been repeatedly overlooked by the government, and we are determined to ensure that the specific challenges facing the sector are addressed. This inquiry will be a vital first step in our work”.

Welcoming the inquiry, Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, added: “Since March, we have seen the night-time sector berated, scapegoated and even blamed for rising infections. Our sector has slipped through the cracks of insufficient support packages and borne the brunt of ever-changing and inconsistent restrictions. We urge all those who work in the night-time economy, or simply enjoy a night out, to take part in the APPG survey to help policymakers understand the importance of our vital sector”.

People can make submissions to the inquiry here.