The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the UK nightclub industry hard over the last three years, a new study shows.
A new study from The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) through CGA reveals that 20 percent of nightclubs in the UK have closed since the pandemic hit in early 2020. Nightclubs were one of the hardest-hit industries by the COVID-19 restrictions, forcing venues to close their doors for over 18 months (March 2020 through July 2021). According to the report, there are now 1,130 nightclubs currently operating, compared to the 1,418 clubs that were open in March 2020.
Data shows that clubs in the Midlands and the North of England were the worst hit, with 30 percent of key independent businesses forced to shut down since March 2020. Operators had many factors that negatively affected their businesses such as pandemic debt, staff shortages, supply chain issues, rising energy costs, rent increases as well as rising product prices. The NTIA also listed consumers with less disposable income to be another factor involved in the economic storm.
According to the study, the number of UK nightclubs open reached its highest peak in 2006, with around 3,000 venues. Since then, the UK has lost around 2,000 clubs, with nearly 300 of those closing their doors since the start of the pandemic. In recent weeks, a number of clubs have shut or announced their closure across the UK, including London’s famous Printworks, which is set to be converted into offices.
“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,” NTIA CEO Michael Kill said. “The Government needs to recognise the economic, cultural, and community value of clubs and the wider nighttime economy. We must protect these businesses, using every means possible, and recognise their importance before it’s too late.”
Read the NTIA’s full report here.
Image Credit: Jake Davis