Night Time sector calls for VAT cut to halt string of nightclub closures

Ten nightclubs are closing every month in Britain as pressures continue to weigh on the sector.

Nearly a third of clubs have put up the shutters since 2019 and only 865 remain in the UK, according to the Night Time Industries Association. High energy bills and rising costs have contributed to the closures, triggering calls for a sector-wide reduction in VAT.

The warning comes as the Printworks London club in south London closes its doors for a potential redevelopment that could take years.

Michael Kill, chief executive of the association, the industry body, said: “With the impacts of Brexit, energy and cost inflation biting, we need the government to address the immediate issues faced by some of the hardest-hit business sectors. The night-time economy has already suffered irreparable damage and, similar to the wider hospitality sector, will face further losses over the coming months if we do not see immediate and decisive support from the government for the remaining businesses.

“It will require swift and direct action in terms of a sector-wide VAT reduction, strict management of energy supply and relief by Ofgem, a re-evaluation of business rates relief, particularly for late-night businesses, and a lowering of visa thresholds for international workers.

“Printworks has been described as ‘the theatre of dreams’ and a ‘cornerstone of culture for the capital’ and as this iconic space closes it will leave a huge void in London’s music venue scene.” The Surrey Quays venue was opened in 2017 and can hold 6,000 people. Last month it was ranked as the second best club in the world.

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