UK government “intentionally shutting down dancefloors,” says nightlife industry

“Over the coming months, we will see the impacts of Government inaction take hold”

Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has claimed that the UK government is “intentionally” closing down nightclubs and venues across the country.

Highlighted in a new statement, the organisation has claimed that the government has taken deliberate steps to force smaller live venues out of business, and listed the ways in which it has done so.

The statement claims that, unlike other countries across Europe, the UK sees the nightlife sector as “a burden on policing and local government”, and has put forward numerous measures leading to one nightclub being closed every three days since 2019.


“Nightclubs and venues across the UK have been one of the hardest hit by crises,” said NTIA. “These businesses contribute billions in tax to HMRC and local authorities in taxation, but have seen very little support from the Government in return. Every one of these businesses has an important part in the recovery of the local economy and has a great importance within communities beyond the dance floor.”

As highlighted in the statement, smaller venues will be most heavily impacted by the upcoming end to the government energy relief scheme and ever-increasing costs.

Nightclub stock photo
Nightclub stock photo. CREDIT: Getty Images

This comes as operating costs are set to rise by over 100 per cent in coming months, however, the financial relief offered by the government will end – meaning that venues will be paying significantly more to remain open.

As per the statement, this will then be worsened by the increase in the National Minimum Wage. Coming into effect from April 1, the minimum wage will rise by 9.7 per cent, from £9.50 to £10.42.

“It is now becoming very clear that the Government has spent the last 3 years intentionally trying to close nightclubs and venues, attempting to shut down dancefloors and stages across the country,” it continued.


“Over the coming months, we will see the impacts of Government inaction take hold, and many important night-time economy businesses will be lost,” added NTIA CEO Michael Kill.

UK Nightclub
Fans at a rave (Picture: Ollie Millington/Getty Images)

Last month, an effort was made to keep smaller venues afloat, with a number of upcoming arenas put under scrutiny to help invest money back into grassroots music spaces. Currently, eight new arenas are scheduled to be launched across the country, in cities including Cardiff and Bristol.

Elsewhere, back in January, a report showed that one-third of UK nightclubs closed by the end of 2022. Previously, five organisations representing the UK hospitality sector penned an open letter to the UK government – explaining how change needed to be made if smaller venues could survive the aforementioned energy crisis.

According to the latest report by NTIA, just 870 nightclubs remain open in the UK today, compared to 1446 in 2019.

The concern over rising energy prices and the impact this will have on the nightlife industry was also raised in August of last year, as the government was warned that the “energy crisis will close more venues than COVID” unless they intervene.

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