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UK entertainment sector warns of 'extinction' due to Covid

·2-min read
In a survey of 100 British nightclubs, 81 percent said they faced bankruptcy from next month without government assistance

British nightlife is on the brink of "extinction", a leading industry body warned on Thursday, saying 80 percent of nightclubs would not survive another month because of Covid closures.

Citing a survey of more than 100 nightclubs, the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) said 81 percent of venues faced bankruptcy from next month without government assistance.

The NTIA added 85 percent of companies in the sector had made redundancies because of closures during the pandemic.

Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of those clubs where staff had been laid off had been forced to let go 60 percent of their staff.

The association representing bars, clubs and concert venues outlined a stark future for venues, explaining many had remained completely shuttered since the start of Britain's first lockdown.

Alongside conference venues and events halls, nightlife is one of the few areas that has not reopened doors in the UK since March last year.

The NTIA was critical of what it characterised as the "limited" and "hugely disproportionate" amount of government aid that had been offered to nightclubs with the exception of a furlough scheme which has benefited employees.

"The government has ignored the sector and failed to recognise its economic and cultural value," said NTIA chief executive Michael Kill.

"We are a world leader in electronic music and clubs -- and have been a breeding ground for contemporary music talent, events and DJs for decades."

Kill called on the government to offer a "robust financial package ...tailored to support businesses" with a roadmap for reopening.

Beyond the night-time economy, representatives of several other industries fear continued damage from Covid restrictions.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) estimates that at least 250,000 SMEs risk bankruptcy without further help.

Finance minister Rishi Sunak is preparing a long-awaited budget for March 3.

It is expected to detail government plans to stimulate the economy after the damage inflicted by the public health crisis.

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