‘Poised on a cliff edge’ – the future of Bristol’s nightlife industry

By June 15, 2020BLOG

Thekla’s upstairs bar area (Image: Theo Cottle)

Industry leaders and business owners are calling on Government support as the sector prepares to reopen with social distancing measures in place

Every sector has been affected by coronavirus in some way, but the nightlife industry has suffered a particularly heavy blow.

Pubs, clubs and music venues are approaching three months of total shutdown and, given their nature, could be some of the last businesses to reopen.

The nightlife industry contributes £66billion a year to the UK’s economy and accounts for almost eight per cent of its overall employment.

While there isn’t any specific data which highlights its importance to Bristol, the fact Motion and the O2 Academy alone contribute more than £40million a year goes some way to show its worth.

Not only that but there are more than 40,000 employees in the sector across Bristol, with bar staff, doormen, DJs and more all coming together every weekend to give the thousands of revellers a fun, safe experience.

But industry leaders and business owners in Bristol are understandably concerned about the future, unless there is considerable support and guidance from the Government.

“At present there is so much uncertainty with regards to the future of our sector – we are poised on a cliff edge awaiting clarity and support,” said Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), which promotes the contribution of the night-time economy in the UK and internationally.

“Without an absolute understanding of when and how businesses can re-engage the marketplace, we are certain with mounting pressures from landlords and debtors that many businesses will not survive past the end of this month, which will lead to mass redundancies.

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