Greater Manchester’s Portfolio lead for Economy, Cllr Elise Wilson, and Night-Time Economy Adviser, Sacha Lord, have convened a group of experts from across the city-region’s hospitality, events and cultural sector to start developing a long-term plan for the protection and promotion of Greater Manchester’s restaurants, bars, theatres, clubs, festivals and music venues.
As the Government reportedly begins to be moving towards phased easing of the current lockdown restrictions, it appears likely that businesses and workers in the Night-Time, Cultural and Hospitality sectors will be amongst the most affected and for the greatest amount of time.
The Night-Time Economy COVID-19 Taskforce will work together to better understand the full extent of the impact lock-down and social distancing has and will have on our restaurants, bars, theatres, festivals and clubs in the coming months, as well as developing longer-term plans for support and recovery. Members of the task force, co-chaired by Elise and Sacha include:
Chris Hill – Superintendent, Greater Manchester Police – City of Manchester Division
Dave Jenkins – Managing Director, Old Courts
Jane Dowler – Director, Evuna Restaurants & Bars
Jay Taylor – Night & Day, Music Venues Association Coordinator North West
Jon Drape – Director, Engine No. 4
Julia Fawcett – CEO, The Lowry
Kim O’Brien – Operations Director, Warehouse Project
Mark Clinton – General Manager – Refuge
Mital Morar – Owner – Store Restaurants Group (Ancoats General Store, Stretford Food Hall)
Neil McInroy – CEO, Centre for Local Economic Strategies
Rebecca Swaray – Curator, founder and DJ – RebeccaNeverBecky
Simon Wood – Chef Patron, Wood Restaurants Group
Steve Hoyland – Divisional Manager, Academy Music Group
Victoria Robinson – CEO, The Met, Bury
The group, who met virtually for the first time on Wednesday May 6th, will work together to feed in on-the-ground knowledge about the situation, how businesses are faring and adapting and what sector and industry-specific packages of support are available. The group will also advocate for Greater Manchester’s Night-Time Economy sector, support the development and delivery of a short to medium and long-term recovery plan for the night time economy and help make decisions on the businesses that will receive support from the United We Stream Solidarity Fund.
Greater Manchester’s Portfolio lead for Economy, Cllr Elise Wilson, said: “The government is set to announce details on the likely phases to easing lock-down over the weekend. While we recognise that all sectors will be affected and have to adapt to new ways of working, our night-time, cultural and hospitality businesses, so vital to the economy and vibrancy of Greater Manchester, look set to be hardest hit for the longest time.
“I am delighted that so many experienced professionals from the sector have come together to form this task group. It’s vital that we understand the scale of the challenges and opportunities facing this sector so that together we can support each other to survive and eventually thrive.”
Greater Manchester’s Night Time Economy Adviser, Sacha Lord, said: “You go anywhere in the world and ask what Greater Manchester is known for its our music, our football and our hospitality. We want all our residents and businesses to be responsible when it comes to social distancing and unfortunately that means that our restaurants, clubs, bars, festivals and cultural organisations just won’t be able to operate in the same way they have for quite some time.
“I am delighted that Elise recognises the importance of the Night Time Economy to the vibrancy, reputation and economy of Greater Manchester and look forward to working with her and the taskforce to come up with a uniquely Greater Mancunian solution to these challenging times.”