Jun 18, 2024 2 min read

NTIA says election manifestos offer only “vague promises” as 32 night-time businesses close every week

The Night Time Industries Association has criticised all the major political parties in the UK for failing to commit to any practical solutions in their respective election manifestos that would address the issues currently faced by the night-time economy, a key employer of younger voters

NTIA says election manifestos offer only “vague promises” as 32 night-time businesses close every week

The UK’s Night Time Industries Association has criticised all of the country’s major political parties for failing to offer “a forward-thinking vision that engages and inspires youth” in their respective election manifestos, including in the context of the night-time economy. It comes as the trade body’s latest number crunching reveals that an average of 32 independent night-time economy businesses have closed down each week over the last year.

“Young voters and cultural advocates deserve more than empty promises”, says NTIA CEO Michael Kill. “They deserve inclusion, recognition and a vision that ensures our nightlife can thrive once again. Immediate action is essential to prevent further devastation and preserve our nightlife as a beacon of creativity and innovation”.

Most of the political parties insist that they will support the UK’s cultural industries in the manifestos they have published ahead of next month’s general election, with some making specific commitments around live music. The Conservative Party has also pledged to instigate a review of the wider night-time economy, including pubs, clubs and venues. 

However, says the NTIA, the manifestos “are disappointingly superficial, filled with vague promises and hollow assurances”. While there is talk about “promoting cultural activities” and an acknowledgment of the challenges faced by the night-time sector, the NTIA continues, there are no “concrete plans or steps for action” to address the key issues. 

Obviously it’s not only younger voters who are concerned about the night-time economy. However, the NTIA stresses, there is a particularly strong connection between the sector and younger people, not only as consumers but also employees. The night-time economy is one of the largest employers of under 30s, the trade group points out, with two million people in that age group working for night-time businesses. 

“Over the past year, an average of 32 independent night-time economy venues have closed weekly”, the NTIA's statement continues. “This wave of closures is tearing out the beating heart of our vibrant nightlife, leaving a void that may never be filled”. And this trend disproportionately impacts on younger voters. 

“The parties’ reliance on the ageing electorate reflects a myopic strategy focused on short-term gains at the expense of long-term societal sustainability”, the trade group continues. “This approach alienates young voters and jeopardises our future”.

Concluding, Kill says, “As the election approaches, it is crucial for political parties to engage meaningfully with the younger generation. Our nation's future hinges on their participation and empowerment. We urge parties to move beyond rhetoric and offer substantive policies that address real concerns and support our cultural sector”.

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