One in five nightclubs have disappeared over the past three years, with bosses crying out for support as ticket sales slow amid the economic crunch.
Nightclub numbers have dwindled to just 1,130 venues across the country during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to figures released by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) through insights firm CGA.
The trade body warned that heightened operating costs combined with revellers tightening their purse strings has contributed to the early stages of a recession.
Industry bosses warned visitor frequency and ticket sales were slowing, against a backdrop of energy and labour costs sky-rocketing.
Late night businesses were one of the quickest sectors to get back on their feet during the financial crash in 2008, “harbouring an abundance of resilience and entrepreneurial spirit,” Michael Kill chief executive of the NTIA said.
Businesses including nightclubs were at the heart of the regeneration of high streets across towns and cities in the UK, Kill said.
“Beyond the generation of footfall through trade, domestic and international visitors to clubs support the local economy in secondary and tertiary purchases through accommodation, travel and retail,” he explained.
The nightlife economy and venues within it were also influential in decisions such as people picking universities and companies’ investment options when relocating or expanding, according to the industry head.
Kill called on the government to “recognise the economic, cultural, and community value of clubs and the wider night time economy.”
Earlier this year, nightclubs warned of a “tragedy where lives are lost” unless the government intervenes to ameliorate a shortage of bouncers.
Late-night venues were “running out of time” as a busy summer season approaches, bosses at the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) and UK Door Security Association cautioned in May.
Nightclubs had been eagerly awaiting their first full summer in three years without Covid restrictions, after the sector was shut down amid the pandemic.
Three quarters of businesses said a security staff crunch was impinging on their ability to keep customers safe, a survey from the industry bodies found.
Even more firms (77 per cent) believed the dire situation was set to get worse, with veteran bouncers lured into other roles such as festivals over the summer.
“We need government intervention to remedy the situation before we are potentially subject to another tragedy where lives are lost,” NTIA boss, Michael Kill, urged.