A group of cross-party MPs and Peers have come together to establish an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the night time economy, which is in a state of “crisis”.
The move has been prompted by fears that the sector and its supply chains are facing “collapse due to disproportionate Covid restrictions combined with insufficient sector specific financial support from Government,” according to the Night Time Industries Association.
It’s hoped that the group, chaired by Labour MP Jeff Smith, will provide a key voice for the sector in parliament to address an immediate Covid-induced crisis and future challenges.
With many night time businesses ordered to remain closed since March, there has been widespread concern across the sector that it has been particularly under-represented politically, and undervalued both culturally and economically within the Government.
In a positive step for the sector, the inaugural meeting of the APPG marks the recognition of the specific challenges facing night-time businesses and a new dialogue between the sector and parliamentarians across the political spectrum.
The new APPG will be supported by the Night Time Industries Association, which will provide industry insight and secretariat services to the group.
Jeff Smith MP, Chair of the new APPG, said: “The night-time sector is hugely important to both the UK economy and our cultural identity. But in the past nine months, it has faced enormous challenges, and thousands of bars, nightclubs, and live events businesses are at risk of collapse. As a former events manager and DJ, I feel strongly about the importance of these businesses, so I am pleased to be chairing the new cross-party group to support night-time industries. We will be working hard to ensure that this usually viable, thriving and world-leading sector can not only survive the Covid crisis, but prepare for a prosperous, long-term recovery.
Michael Kill, CEO of NTIA commented: “It is vitally important that the night time economy has its own voice, and alongside businesses, associations and participating parliamentarians, we welcome the All Party Parliamentary Group to further support and clarify the challenges around the industry, and help recognise its cultural and economic value both within the UK and internationally.”
He added, “We are extremely pleased to have the support of many cross-party parliamentarians, and believe that this group will have a substantial part to play in the regeneration of the night time economy in the next 12 months.”