According to a new study conducted by UK Hospitality, more than one quarter of the U.K.’s nightclubs have closed permanently in the last six years.
The study was shared with BBC Radio One Newsbeat, where the U.K. nightlife sector’s troubling financial situation was discussed. Nearly 500 clubs in the country have closed since 2015, accounting for a staggering 29% of the U.K.’s nightlife venues. With the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic still looming large, along with limited aid from the U.K. government, many owners and promoters are feeling the pressure more than ever.
“It’s a shame the government don’t understand that we are a £30 billion industry,” Printworks owner Simeon Aldred told the BBC. “I don’t think we are forgotten, they just don’t care. It’s been exhausting, with the government saying start, now stop, now start, now stop and every time that happens we lose tens of millions of pounds.”
Aldred refers to the recent delays in the U.K. roadmap to reopening nightlife venues, which have set the industry back by weeks at a time, leaving many on the brink of collapse. According to the Night Time Industries Association, less than 20% of the venues that applied for Cultural Recovery Fund grants were awarded financial support despite the U.K. government insisting that the support packages are still available to all nightclubs.