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‘Much-Needed’ Night-time Economy Review To Cut Red Tape

The Conservative Party has pledged to a review of the nighttime economy in England, which will include overhauling licensing laws and planning rules.

A review of licensing laws and planning rules aimed at boosting pubs, restaurants and music venues would be launched in the first 100 days of a new Conservative government, the party has pledged.

Ministers would examine ways to “crack down” on councils setting “disproportionate conditions and restrictions on licences” in a bid to cut red tape for businesses in the sector, the Tories said.

The party has also pledged to cut red tape “unnecessarily holding back growth and adding operating costs for businesses” and consider creating a ministerial position for the sector.

They would “protect” music venues, they said, by strengthening the enforcement of the “agent of change” planning principle, which requires developers who build near an existing venue to pay for their own sound proofing.

Conservative small business minister Kevin Hollinrake said his party had “always supported our night-time economy, with business rates reliefs, economic support during the pandemic”.

“We’ll continue to back our night-time economy – Labour would cripple it further with higher taxes and more burdensome regulation.”

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, said:
“The nighttime economy is the beating heart of our vibrant nightlife in the UK. A comprehensive review to ensure it’s firing on all cylinders is a positive and much-needed commitment for hospitality businesses.

“Addressing the challenges of planning, licensing and other red tape is essential and, alongside reducing the burden of business rates on hospitality businesses, will allow the sector to drive growth, attract visitors and create places where people want to live, work and invest.

“This review would complement my recommendation as chair of London’s Night Time Commission to develop a holistic approach between government, local authorities and regulatory bodies to build a vibrant and diverse nighttime economy.”

Kate Nicholls was chair of London’s Night Time Commission, where she led the groundbreaking ‘Think Night’ report into London’s nightlife.