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One-in-five UK nightclubs shut since Covid

The UK nightclub sector has seen 20% of its venues disappear in the last three years, according to new data from CGA.

UK nightclubs were closed for 18 months during the pandemic

The figures, provided by CGA to trade body the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), revealed there are now 1,130 nightclubs left in the UK.

Nightclubs were hit particularly hard by Covid-19 restrictions, with venues forced to close for 18 months from March 2020 until 19 July 2021.

In December 2019, CGA data showed there were 1,446 nightclubs, and in December 2014 there were 1,924 venues.

According to the data, nightclub closures were the worst in the Midlands and the North of England, with key independent businesses shut down.

Nightclub operators were affected by pandemic debt, rising energy bills, staff shortages, supply chain disruption, landlord pressures and product price increases.

Furthermore, the NTIA said operating cost pressures combined with consumers with less disposable income have led to a slowdown in ticket sales and footfall to nightclubs.

The NTIA noted that the night-time economy generates £112 billion (US$136bn) in revenue every year (6% of the UK’s total).

Michael Kill, CEO of NTIA, said: “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.

“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.”

Kill called on the government to help protect late-night businesses.

He added: “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.”

In April, nightclub operator Rekom UK claimed Brits were frequenting late-night bars and nightclubs ‘exactly as often’ as they did pre-pandemic.

The global pub, bar and nightclub market is expected to grow by US$24.60bn from 2021 to 2026, according to a recent report.

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