The night time culture economy has lost more than 4,000 thousand businesses and over 33,000 jobs since the start of the pandemic, with the timeline for its recovery contingent on support in the government’s spring Budget announcement today, the NTIA has warned.

The trade body for the night time culture economy said the recovery of the sector could take years, if not decades, with more than 65% of businesses currently unsure if they will survive the next 12 months without further support.

While the sector had shown steady growth prior to the pandemic, generating 1.64% or £36.9bn of UK GDP, this had fallen to £24.1bn in 2021.

The NTIA said businesses that would traditionally be profitable have been placed in an extremely difficult inflationary circle, where operating costs have been passed on by suppliers who are similarly trying to deal with onerous costs, but market constraints limit the ability to pass on these costs through price increases to our customers without a severe impact on trade.

The trade body is calling on the government to reduce the rate of VAT to 10% for the hospitality, late night economy & events sector for the next 12 months, with the relief to include alcohol / accommodation / food and tickets; to lower the Business Rates Multiplier and to restructure the Energy Relief Scheme to deliver fair and reasonable rates.

“It is heartbreaking to hear of so many businesses being lost, and the potential to lose so many more. These businesses are owned and operated, and worked in by members of the community they serve,” Michael Kill, CEO, NTIA, said

“The current government has failed these businesses and the wider cultural sector. They do not value the UK night time culture economy in the same way that their European counterparts do, and are focused on taxation and regulatory control. The rest of Europe is working with the sectors to support through investment and growth, and are seen the benefits of this support ahead of the UK.”