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NTIA Challenges Political Parties: What Will You Do For Nightlife?

Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), stated:

“The night time economy has suffered irreparable damage throughout the pandemic and now due to the cost of living crisis. We have advocated for a ground zero moment—an opportunity to create a foundation that will allow businesses to recover and return to pre-pandemic trading conditions.”

“The NTIA’s ‘Darkest Before the Dawn’ manifesto has been shared with thousands of politicians across the UK. It contains forty four clear industry driven requests to electoral candidates, and aims to provide direction and a strategy for the incoming government to hit the ground running.”

“Over the course of the last week, we have seen a considerable amount of broad brush commitments within manifestos released by all political parties and have been somewhat frustrated by the lack of detail and substance.”

“All have highlighted the commitment to the reevaluation of sector specific business rates, intimated that there would be a continuation of the alcohol duty freeze, but no short term VAT reduction.”

“So it is encouraging to see that the Conservatives have listened to our recent call for more detail, and adopted some of our key asks from the NTIA manifesto.”

“One of our primary manifesto requests is to shift departmental responsibility from regulatory control under the Home Office to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), alongside appointing a dedicated minister for the night time economy. This minister would be responsible for developing a centralised strategy to influence national and local policy.”

“It is without doubt we need the new government to re-evaluate our licensing and planning systems, removing red tape and unnecessary regulatory burdens, and moving towards a system that is proportionate, fair, and consistent.”

“They need to work towards supporting and protecting cultural spaces across the night time economy, the breeding ground of new talent and artists who are the foundation of our cultural tapestry. These spaces should have the same consideration as galleries, castles, museums and theatres under a cultural protection scheme, beginning with the push for “Agent of Change” principle to become primary legislation.”

“It is clear that this is only a start and that the industry needs these commitments and more….

“I would ask all political parties not to underestimate the soft power we represent. Our industry generates over £136 billion in annual revenue, employs over 2 million people, and is one of the largest employers of individuals under 30, with millions attending our events and venues each year.”

“Our call to all political parties in the race to represent your respective regions in government is clear: What will you do for nightlife?”