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UK night-time sector loses 86,000 jobs

The UK’s night-time industry has lost around 86,000 jobs due to the pandemic, according to a new report.

night club
The UK’s night-time industry has been hit hard by the pandemic

The report, commissioned by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), revealed the value of the UK’s night-time economy, which was 1.6% of GDP, equivalent to £36.4 billion (US$49.6bn), in 2019. This contribution accounted for 425,000 UK jobs.

The NTIA said there are fears that many of the jobs lost as a result of the pandemic will be gone for good as businesses close and there is ‘lower demand’ for services.

Michael Kill, CEO of the NTIA, said: “We are pleased to be able to present today this important and timely piece of work quantifying, for the first time, the size of the night-time economy in the UK.”

“Important, because in my 25-year career working in UK nightlife, it has always struck me as so odd that we did not have a proper accounting of the value of this important sector. Today’s report puts that right and is long overdue.”

Kill said that the new data shows that “it is the worst possible time to introduce vaccine passports, which will further damage a sector essential to the economic recovery”.

He continued: “Governments in Scotland and Wales are pressing ahead with chaotic vaccine passport plans, and the UK government refuses to rule out their use in England.”

The NTIA is currently planning legal action against the Scottish government over its plan to introduce the vaccine passport scheme for nightclub entry.

The trade body has made several recommendations to UK chancellor Rishi Sunak on how the government can support the sector ahead of the Budget on 27 October.

Kill added: “We are calling for him to extend the 12.5% rate of VAT on hospitality until 2024, include door sales in that reduced rate of VAT, because the present system punishes nightclubs that rely on door sales rather than selling tickets, and for him to ensure there are no increases in alcohol duties – our sector really cannot afford any additional burdens.”

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