The night time economy will perish without Government intervention, Sacha Lord has warned today, saying the current situation is an existential threat to the £70 billion sector.
The Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester is calling on the Government to urgently introduce a sector-specific support package if it is to survive.
The warning comes as the Night Time Industries Association found nearly half of businesses in the night time economy will be making over 60 per cent of their workforce redundant imminently as a result of the Winter Economy Plan and current restrictions.
Lord, who is also Co-Founder of Parklife, the UK’s largest metropolitan festival, and The Warehouse Project music events, said,
“The current situation is an existential threat to the night time economy.”
“With safety as a priority, we are ready to work with the Government, but the confusion and arrogant ignorance about the importance of this £70 billion sector has to end. The sector will be key as we move towards economic recovery, but it is imperative that they act and invest now to ensure there is an economy to go back to.”
Detailing the propositions, he said,
“The Chancellor’s Winter Economy Plan is of little use to this sector. The new Job Support Scheme relies on a business being open to be classed as viable, and yet there are thousands of venues who still remain partially or fully closed. In hospitality alone, there are 900,000 workers still on furlough, and for many operators, it will be easier to remove these individuals from payrolls completely than go under. The furlough scheme must be extended for this sector in order to avoid a complete collapse, and a tidal wave of redundancies over the next three weeks.”
“The 10pm curfew has been a reckless move, driving crowds out of venues at the same time and into supermarkets, shops and onto public transport. The hospitality sector has spent hundreds of thousands installing measures allowing people to socialise safely, and these steps have been all but ignored. The curfew must be lifted, not only for the survival of the venues who are 50-60 per cent down on takings, but in the foremost for public safety.”
“Echoing Andy Burnham, I’m also urging the Government to introduce further financial support for businesses affected by local lockdowns, including an increase to the local lockdown grants (currently £1,500 every three weeks) which are going little way to support businesses at the edge of bankruptcy. A further extension to the business rate holiday for the sector for 2021 is also needed to give venues a chance to stabilise once they reopen without the burden of immediate bills.”
“In addition, there are thousands of freelancers, from artists and performers to backstage crew and sound technicians, who are ineligible for Government support, and who teeter on the brink of severe financial and mental health ruin. This forgotten workforce are in fact the hidden backbone, without whom the music and arts industry would not survive, and a package of support must be addressed immediately.”
“I strongly urge the Government to publish scientific data and modelling to ensure we understand and can therefore back the difficult choices being made. Only then can we come together as one to rebuild Britain as the global cultural capital we are famous for.”