A report commissioned by London Mayor Sadiq entitled “London at night” has revealed that London is becoming too expensive for a night out for a third of the city’s dwellers.
The report says that last year there were: 3,530 pubs, down from 4,835 in 2001; 570 clubs, down from 880 in 2001; and 53 LGBTQ+ venues, down from 125 in 2006.
Centring on the 6pm-6am period the report also reveals that London has fewer cultural venues per head of population than many other European capitals. Some town centres do not have a cinema or theatre, and there has been a fall in pubs, clubs and music venues.
36 per cent of Londoners say it is too expensive to go out at night. Between 2006 and 2017 across the UK, the cost of visiting a restaurant rose by 40 per cent and cultural activities by 43 per cent, while inflation has risen just 27 per cent.
Two-thirds of Londoners are regularly active at night, including looking after children, shopping, socialising or going to the gym. Night workers most typically work in the health sector (191,000 people), professional services (178,000) and culture or leisure (168,000).
The Mayor said: “there is no doubt that the night-time economy is a key part of the success of our capital but this world leading research shows that hugely significant role it plays in the lives of Londoners and visitors. We live in the greatest city in the world but as jobs and demand for services at night grows, we have to make sure London is a city that works for all Londoners at all hours we are working hard to create a life at night that meets the needs of everyone, but we need employers to step up and ensure the welfare of their employees by paying them the London living wage every Londoner is entitled to a decent standard of living no matter what time of the day or night they work.
UKHospitality has welcomed the launch of the London at Night report. The trade body has also reiterated the importance of the late-night hospitality sector to London’s night-time economy.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The Mayor is determined to promote London as a world-class 24-hour city and UKHospitality is keen to support his efforts. We understand the importance of a vibrant and flourishing late-night sector and the positive, knock-on effect is has on the wider hospitality industry.
“It is vital that policy-makers have clear and reliable information with which to make evidence-based decisions. This report will provide the Mayor’s Office and the Night Time Commission with the insight needed to act to promote London’s night life.
“I am very proud to be involved as Chair of the Night Time Commission and UKHospitality will be working hard to support the fantastic late-night hospitality businesses in London.”