491 nightclubs have shut permanently in England in the past six years.
According to figures given to Radio 1 Newsbeat by UK Hospitality, a quarter of all clubs in the country have closed since 2015. Records indicate there were 1,694 clubs in England in 2015 and 1,203 in February this year.
Kate Nicholls from UK Hospitality said, “Many have closed but have been in a hibernation state. They have survived the black swan of Covid but have still got the recovery to overcome and the level of debt businesses will exit with will mean many will fall over in the next two years.”
“It’s a shame the government doesn’t understand that we are £30bn industry,” added Simeon Aldred from Printworks. “I don’t think we are forgotten, they just don’t care,” he tells Newsbeat. “It’s been exhausting with the government saying start, now stop, now start, now stop and every time that happens we lose tens of millions of pounds.”
A Government spokesperson said, “Nightclubs still have access to our unprecedented £352bn package of support, including the furlough scheme, loan guarantees, protection from eviction, Restart Grants worth up to £18,000 and business rates relief. Thanks to the success of our vaccination programme, all remaining businesses will be able to reopen, such as nightclubs, at Step 4.”
The figures come following a survey by the Night Time Industries Association (NITA) warning that 1 in 4 nightlife businesses will close in the next month without government support. The warning follows similar appeals by the Music Venue Trust and NTIA.
Revisit DJ Mag’s recent feature on how a return to clubs and festivals might work in a post-pandemic society here.