Britain’s cultural nightlife sector has lost nearly 86,000 jobs since the pandemic hit, according to new figures.
A new report commissioned by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), which represents more than 1,200 members including nightclubs, bars and casinos, said the sector had been “devastated” by the pandemic and restrictions in force since last March. had gone.
NTIA chief executive Michael Kiel said the findings came at a pressing time for the sector as it approaches the busy Christmas period.
He said it was important that no further sanctions be returned to the region – such as vaccine passports – and called for financial support from the chancellor.
Our region really can’t bear any extra burden
“This is the worst time to introduce a vaccine passport, which will further damage the sector needed for economic recovery.”
Cultural nightlife includes live music, clubbing and dance music, and events and festivals.
The NTIA said the UK’s nightlife industry overall represented around 1.6% of GDP in 2019 – or £36.4 billion.
Hospitality firms benefited from a 5% reduction in VAT on food, soft drinks, accommodation, theater tickets and other items during the pandemic.
The tax rate was raised to 12.5% earlier this month as part of a plan to roll back VAT to its previous 20% rate in early May next year.
Partner business groups, including UKHospitality, have also called for a longer-term increase in the current VAT rate to aid the beleaguered sector in a budget announcement later this month.
Mr Kiel said: “It is important that the chancellor use the upcoming budget to support this beleaguered sector.
“We are calling for an extension of the VAT rate on hospitality to 12.5% by 2024 to include door-to-door sales in that lower rate of VAT, as the current system penalizes nightclubs that use doorsteps instead of selling tickets. Sales rely on it, and for them to ensure there is no hike in liquor charges.
“Our region really can’t bear any additional burden.”
In the report, Christian Wakeford, co-chair of the all-party parliamentary group for the night-time economy and Conservative MP, said: “As we seek to rebuild from the devastation of the pandemic, we must not leave this vital sector behind. “