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Clubs, pubs and bars form integral part of UK economy

3 min read

24 June 2015

The Night Time Industries Assocation (NTIA) has compiled a new “Forward Into The Night” report, which found that six per cent of the UK's GDP is generated by nighttime businesses. It called on further government support to “champion one of the UK's most culturally significant industries”.

The NTIA hopes the findings will encourage more respect towards the nighttime economy – sometimes viewed as a seedier alternative to the daytime economy.

With the extended 24-hour service being introduced on the London Underground from September, the report aims to serve as a helpful reminder of the extensive nightlife on offer in the capital.

Transport for London has said the development will lead to 2,000 permanent jobs and should boost the UK economy by £360m. Nighttime businesses employ around 1.3m to cope with the increasing demand for entertainment and leisure options late into the night. The report said ten per cent of UK employees regularly worked a night shift – 500,000 more than in 2002.

While some may have questions regarding the safety of venturing out for the night as opposed to making use of daytime activities, the study said that recorded crime in 38 per cent lower than in 2002/03 and “venues are safer than ever”.

“Most bars and pubs are careful to ensure that their customers enjoy a safe evening out,” it added.

The NTIA is a lobbying organisation that was formed in April 2015 by independent bar, nightclub, pub and restaurant owners, as well as live music operators.

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The report also warned against enforcing greater regulation to impede the nighttime economy as it “will do very little to reduce the problem of alcoholism or violent crime. Most alcohol is consumed outside licensed pubs and bars”.

The research’s attempt to proudly display the value of the nighttime company sat alongside these warnings on regulation – and said that rising alcohol duty was a barrier to growth. The NTIA also suggested that smaller businesses were under threat with the government’s designation of parts of England and Wales as areas where no new alcohol licenses will be granted. It said this change is stifling “smaller, unique venues”, while police and local authorities “need to realise the value the nighttime economy has to local communities”.

This report follows recent research from Barclays, indicating both that the pub industry was doing much better than many had predicted and it was being boosted by an increasing number of young landlords and landladies.

The founder of London’s Old Truman Brewery, Alan D Miller, who is also chairman of the NTIA, said that the nighttime industry as a whole was doing a good job in “employing eight per cent of our workforce – a young proportion of whom are young”.

He added that the nighttime economy as a whole “simply makes Britain better”, serving to light up the streets, pay business rates and with businesses serving as active stakeholders in local communities.

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