Number of NTE firms drops by 'staggering' 15.5%

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Alarming rate: number of NTE firms in the UK drops by 15.5% (Credit: Getty/SolStock)
Alarming rate: number of NTE firms in the UK drops by 15.5% (Credit: Getty/SolStock)

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The number of night-time economy (NTE) businesses in the UK has dropped by a “staggering” 15.5%, new research from Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) has revealed.

Data from the NTIA’s latest NTE Tracker, supported by CGA Neilson, showed nightclubs faced “unprecedented challenges” between March 2020 and December 2023, resulting in closures and revenue losses at an “alarming rate”.

The report detailed there had been a 32% decrease in the total number of nightclubs during this period, with a 15.5% drop in overall NTE businesses, from 102,860 in March 2020 to 89,067 in December 2023.

NTIA CEO Michael Kill said: “These figures are a stark reminder of the devastation caused by the last 3 years and will without doubt anger and frustrate people within the sector.

Resilience prevails 

"However, in the face of adversity, resilience prevails. We are dedicated to supporting our members and championing policies that foster recovery and growth.”

Independent businesses “dominated” the sector, according to the figures, comprising 77% of all NTE firms in December 2023, though this was down by 3% in terms of market share from March 2020 at 80%.

In total, more than 13,793 NTE businesses had been lost during the time frame measured.

Regionally, the figures revealed there had been notable declines in London (-3,011), Central (-1,898), and Lancashire (-1,616) areas.

Moreover, major cities felt the impact, the report said, with more than 2,679 NTE venues lost between March 2020 and December 2023, particularly in London (-1,165), Glasgow (-141), and Birmingham (-112).

The report concluded that the data underscored the “indispensable role of nightclubs and the broader night-time economy” in both urban and rural communities.

Decisive action 

In addition, despite the challenges, the resilience and adaptability of businesses offered “hope for recovery and future growth”, it said.

Kill added: “As we confront the aftermath of the pandemic and ongoing operational challenges, it’s essential to acknowledge the resilience and diversity among businesses in our sector.

“Our sector has been neglected twice by the Government in financial support during budget allocations, subjected to political manoeuvres aimed at securing votes.

“These statistics unmistakably reflect the crisis gripping our sector, leaving the Government with no choice but to take decisive action.”


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