The nightclub industry is facing a battle for survival after residents have become accustomed to quieter nights after lockdown, according to bosses.
Late night venues in the UK have been attacked by an exponential increase in noise complaints, especially in London hubs, the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has claimed.
Nightclubs were closed from March 2020 until July 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Planning authorities have also been accused of not considering the long term impacts of residential developments that were given the green light during lockdowns.
Ministers must introduce Berlin-style agent of change and asset protection schemes to protect businesses as they attempt to find their feet again after Covid, the NTIA said.
Such measures could see developers factor in culturally significant clubs into account when making building plans or require builders to offer residents noise protection.
“We need the Government to recognise the importance of these businesses and protect them with the same vigour that they would the museums, galleries and historic sites that the UK is known so well for,” the NTIA’s CEO, Michael Kill, said.
Now firms were not only being forced to grapple with monster increases to operating costs but also “the notion that their livelihoods could be challenged at any moment,” Kill added.
London night czar, Amy Lamé, said the Mayor of London’s office would “continue to call on the Government to play its part in supporting London’s venues and tackling the soaring cost of doing business.”
The city’s nightlife was “integral to our economic and social recovery,” she added.
“Businesses have had an incredibly tough couple of years and are now struggling with a range of issues including rising inflation, energy bills, food prices, and staff shortages.”
“The Mayor made protecting these venues a key priority in his London Plan, including the introduction of Agent of Change, and continues to work with local authorities to ensure that well-run venues are safeguarded as part of London’s unique culture, character and heritage,” she added.
The department for digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) was approached for comment.