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One in five UK nightclubs has closed since 2019, NTIA research confirms

By | Published on Tuesday 2 August 2022


The UK’s Night Time Industries Association has again called for more government support for the clubbing sector in response to new figures that show that one in five of the country’s nightclubs has closed in the last three years.

The data gathered by research firm CGA shows that the number of clubs in the UK has actually been in decline since a mid-2000s peak. But, of course, the sector has faced particularly big challenges in recent years, with clubs being severely impacted by the COVID-caused lockdowns, and the post-pandemic recovery negatively impacted by rising costs and wider economic issues.

Summarising the new data, the NTIA said in a statement this morning that the stats show “the huge impact on nightclubs across the UK over the last three years, with only 1130 nightclubs left across the UK, which is down substantially since the pandemic and subject to further change in the current economic climate”.

The CGA stats look at the number of club venues in different regions, with the NTIA noting: “The Midlands and North have been hardest hit, with some key independent businesses being lost, all of which play a significant role in supporting the wider night time economy, which generates £112 billion in revenue per annum”.

Stressing that the sector continues to face unprecedented pressures despite the lifting of COVID restrictions, the trade group added: “The culmination of pandemic debt, growing energy bills, workforce challenges, supply chain, increased insurance premiums, landlord pressures and product cost increases have created a perfect storm”.

And those economic challenges seem likely to continue for the foreseeable future, with more than half of the night-time business consulted by the NTIA still to renew their current contracts with their energy supplies, renewals which are likely to result in a surge in energy costs.

Calling for more government support this morning, NTIA boss Michael Kill was keen to point out the value a successful night-time economy can deliver, within any one city or region, and nationally.

“Late night economy businesses were one of the quickest sectors to rebound during the financial crash many years ago, harbouring an abundance of resilience and entrepreneurial spirit”, he said. “It’s without a doubt that these businesses, particularly nightclubs, have a huge part to play in the regeneration of high streets in towns and cities across the UK”.

“Beyond the generation of footfall through trade, domestic and international visitors to clubs support the local economy in secondary and tertiary purchases through accommodation, travel and retail”, he went on.

“It is also key to recognise that these businesses play a key part in people’s decision making process, from choosing a university or college, to influencing investment choices for businesses relocating or expanding, to accommodate for a young workforce. [And that’s] not forgetting the important part they play in people’s physical, mental and social well being”.

With all that in mind, he concluded: “The government needs to recognise the economic, cultural, and community value of clubs and the wider night time economy. We must protect these businesses, using every means possible, and recognise their importance before it’s too late”.