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Spring Budget Support Vital for Survival, New NTE Report Reveals

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) today releases its third annual Night-time Economy Report, highlighting the intricate dynamics and challenges facing the UK’s vibrant nocturnal landscape. Spearheaded by Michael Kill, CEO of the NTIA, the report underscores the critical role of the Night-time Cultural Economy (NTCE) while shedding light on the sector’s journey through the pandemic and beyond.

Summary of Key Findings:

The report reveals a mixed picture of the UK Night-time Economy (NTE), where resilience battles against ongoing challenges:

Volume & Value of the UK NTE:

  • Consumer spend in the UK Night-time Economy was £136.5bn in 2022, up from £95.7bn in 2021, showing a strong post-Covid desire to socialise.
  • Adjusted for inflation, there has been no real growth in turnover over the last three years, despite the significant rise from £121.3bn in 2019.
  • Due to the pandemic and inflation, the UK NTE has lost approximately £95bn, impacting investments in customer experiences, marketing, programming, and sector resilience.
  • In 2022, £117bn was spent in England, £10.3bn in Scotland, £5.9bn in Wales, and £3.3bn in Northern Ireland within the NTE.
  • The UK Night-time Cultural Economy was worth £33.3bn in 2022, up from £23.8bn in 2021, but down from £37.2bn in 2019, indicating a 36% reduction in absolute terms.
  • The closure of underground clubs, grassroots music venues, and arts centres reflects the significant decline in the cultural economy.

Employment & Business Growth:

  • Employment in the UK Night Time Economy (NTE) was 2.08 million in 2022.
  • Within the NTE, the Night Time Cultural Economy (NTCE) sustains approximately 452,000 jobs.
  • Employment has grown year-on-year in the NTE, except for 2020, surpassing 2019 levels by about 6%.
  • Distribution of NTE jobs: Northern Ireland (40,000), England (1.83 million), Scotland (137,000), Wales (72,000).
  • Total NTE businesses in the UK: approximately 149,000.
  • Total NTCE businesses in the UK: around 36,000.
  • Distribution of NTE firms: Scotland (12,600), Wales (4,800), Northern Ireland (2,735), England (130,000).
  • Firm numbers in the UK NTE have been growing slowly.

Gross Value Added

  • GVA generated by the UK’s Night Time Economy (NTE) sector was £43.5 billion in 2022, falling below the £47.5 billion recorded in 2019, especially when adjusted for inflation.
  • This suggests that although the NTE sub-sector might seem to have recovered in 2022 in terms of consumer spending increases, its underlying fundamentals such as productivity and profitability remain constrained, indicating a sector that is still struggling.

Supply Chain 

  • Supply chain spending in the UK’s NTE (Night Time Economy) is crucial for supporting a multitude of specialist suppliers and freelancers.
  • However, post-pandemic, spending on suppliers in the UK NTE has not returned to pre-pandemic levels.
  • In 2019, spending on suppliers amounted to £57.8 billion, but by 2022, it decreased to £45.2 billion.
  • This reduction in supply chain purchasing serves as a significant indicator of a sector attempting to cut costs.
  • Despite a positive increase in consumer spending in 2022, it’s likely that much of this money was redirected towards repaying loans and rental back payments.

Future Trends in the NTE:

  • Shift towards experience-led socialising emphasised across various venues and art forms
  • Experience and setting now crucial factors in socialising preferences
  • Experiential activities now closely intertwined with social media, influencing younger audience choices
  • Generation gap evident in preferences; younger demographics challenging traditional socialising models
  • Artistic excellence alone insufficient to attract audiences; cultural venues facing challenges
  • Technology playing a significant role in shaping and consuming nighttime experiences

Michael Kill, CEO of Night Time Industries Association, Reflects on NTIA UK Night-time Economy Study
“In the face of prevailing challenges, the latest NTIA UK Night-time Economy Study for this year provides a glimmer of hope, offering insights into a sector weathering storms with resilience.”

“The surge in consumer spending throughout 2022 signifies a robust demand, underscoring the vitality of the night-time economy. However, as we await the figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for 2023, uncertainties loom over the sustainability of this momentum.”

“Amidst the turmoil, job creation within both the Night-time Economy (NTE) and Night-time Cultural Economy (NTCE) sectors has been a beacon of positivity, accompanied by the emergence of new businesses. Nonetheless, closures may be concealed within the broader data, highlighting the fragility of the industry amidst ongoing challenges.”

“The significance of the NTE cannot be overstated, with its substantial contribution of £136.5 billion to the UK economy and provision of 2.08 million jobs. Yet, the formidable obstacles stemming from the Covid pandemic and the prevailing cost-of-living/business crisis threaten its long-term viability, particularly endangering the more delicate NTCE.”

“In essence, this year’s report offers a nuanced perspective, with challenges outweighing strengths, necessitating strategic interventions to safeguard the vitality of the night-time economy. As we navigate the complexities ahead, collaborative efforts and targeted initiatives and support are imperative to ensure the resilience and prosperity of this essential sector.”

Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Advisor for Greater Manchester,

“I commend the NTIA Night-time Economy Report 2024 for its comprehensive analysis of the UK’s Night Time Economy (NTE). This report not only highlights the economic significance of the NTE but also delves into the challenges and opportunities shaping its future. Its nuanced breakdown across the four nations of the UK provides invaluable insights for policymakers, empowering them to make informed decisions and advocate for robust support. Despite the hurdles posed by the pandemic and economic uncertainty, the report underscores the resilience of the NTE and its cultural importance. Let us use this report as a compass to navigate the complexities ahead and ensure a thriving and resilient Night Time Economy for generations to come.”

Maria May – Head of Electronic Music CAA said, “The Night Time Economy stands as a cornerstone of the UK’s economic landscape, bolstering it with a £136 billion economic contribution and sustaining 2 million jobs. These figures are compelling, and speak for themselves, but we must also consider inflation and the impacts of market change, the evolution of the night time economy cannot be ignored and needs to be engaged and considered.”

“The escalating public appetite for events underscores the increasing demands on the night time economy. With governmental backing and acknowledgment of the sector’s profound impact on local communities, we can transition from mere survival to prosperous growth, enriching all stakeholders. This report furnishes incontrovertible evidence, laying the groundwork for policy makers to invest in the future of UK nightlife.”

Silvana Kill Director Of Operations NTIA added, “The night-time economy sector plays a pivotal role in enhancing societal well-being, fostering community cohesion, and providing safe spaces for cultural exploration. Beyond its economic significance, it enriches the fabric of our communities by offering a diverse range of cultural experiences, particularly through music. These nocturnal spaces facilitate social interaction, creativity, and expression, contributing to mental health and social interconnectedness. By nurturing vibrant nightlife, we cultivate inclusive environments where people can unwind, connect, and celebrate diversity. Recognising its profound impact extends beyond economics, we affirm the critical importance of sustaining and nurturing the night-time economy for the holistic well-being of individuals and the vibrancy of our communities.”

Philip Kolvin KC – Barrister commented, “The NTIA’s Night Time Economy Report is an important contribution to our understanding of trends within the night time sector.  Crucially, by isolating the night time cultural sector, including pubs, clubs and music venues, and then analysing the trends within that sector, it sheds a stark light on the realities. With this report on their desks, politicians can’t argue with the numbers:  they can only decide whether they care. In election year, for the night time cultural sector and the artists and creatives whose living it is, that is the only question which matters.”

Link to Night Time Economy Report