One in five nightclubs in the UK has shut since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, new figures show.
According to new data from the Night Time Industries Association (via BBC News), the lowest number of UK nightclubs ever (1,130) was recorded this year. That’s 288 less than the figure of 1,418 recorded in March 2020 just before the pandemic hit, a drop of 25 per cent.
In a statement, the NTIA said that “operating cost pressures coupled with consumers with less disposable income have seen the early stages of a recession with slowing ticket sales and visitor frequency” leading to the widespread closure of nightclubs across the UK.
They went on to say that a “perfect storm” of issues has been created due to a “culmination of pandemic debt, growing energy bills, workforce challenges, supply chain, increased insurance premiums, landlord pressures and product cost increases”.
In response to the worries, a government spokesperson said: “We recognise that nightclubs are important cultural institutions and key drivers of local night time economies, but no national government can control the global factors pushing up the price of energy and other business costs.”
Late last year, as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 surged through the UK, the NTIA warned that a third of the UK’s nightlife firms fear the risk of closure without receiving support from the government.
The new survey showed that nighttime venues lost an average of £46,000 each in sales over the festive period due to gig cancellations, while an additional 40 per cent drop in attendance was noted at businesses that require COVID certificates for entry.
“It really is a chilling prospect to see so many venues in our sector left to bleed, with a lockdown in everything but name and absolutely no recognition of this from the Government,” NTIA boss Michael Kill said.