A quarter of nightclubs across the UK could shut permanently if the next stage of easing lockdown restrictions is delayed by another four weeks.
The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), which represents clubs and bars across the country, said one in four businesses will not survive longer than a month without additional financial support.
Half would not survive longer than two months if the government does not intervene, it added.
Nightclubs, which have remained shuttered since March last year, had been gearing up to reopen on 21 June with the final stage of lifting Covid measures.
But senior ministers are believed to have agreed to a four-week delay to the next stage of the roadmap due to concerns about the Delta variant, with the decision expected to be confirmed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson later today.
More than half of UK nightlife businesses have already spent more than £15,000 preparing to reopen their doors on 21 June, the NTIA said.
A fifth of companies estimate they will lose more than £40,000 per week while closed or facing restricted trading due to a delay.
Last week City A.M. revealed that some nightclubs were considering opening their doors from 21 June regardless of the government’s decision on lifting lockdown.
NTIA boss Michael Kill said the industry was considering “every avenue” for challenging a delay, including a legal battle.
“Distressed industries cannot continue to be held in limbo, as businesses are left to fall,” he said.
“Any decision to delay without clarity on when they can open will leave us no other option but to challenge the government, standing alongside many other industries who have been locked down or restricted from opening for an extreme length of time, through no fault of their own, and at their own cost.”