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NTIA Says UK’s Night Time Economy Extremely Fragile – 16% Surge in Business Administrations Demands Urgent Intervention by New Government

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The UK’s Night-Time Economy (NTE) faces a critical juncture as it grapples with an alarming rise in business failures. According to recent data from Shakespeare Martineau, a full-service law firm, the NTE’s fragility has intensified, evidenced by a 16% surge in business administrations in 2024. This year alone, 879 UK businesses have filed for administration in the first six months, reflecting a dramatic 42% increase from 2022 and a 16% increase from 2023. These figures underscore the immediate need for decisive action from the incoming government to prevent further deterioration.

The hardest-hit sectors include retail, manufacturing, construction, real estate, and hospitality, which together account for 57% of all business administrations. Greater London has emerged as the epicentre of this crisis, with 22% of the filings, followed by the North West at 17% and Yorkshire & The Humber at 11%. Although current administration numbers have not yet reached pre-Covid levels (940 in the first half of 2019), insolvency experts warn of an impending wave of business failures unless the new government swiftly addresses inflation and rising interest rates.

Particularly concerning is the plight of the hospitality sector, a cornerstone of the NTE, which has seen 78 businesses enter administration in the first half of 2024. This figure represents 9% of all administrations, with year-to-date figures for the sector standing at 189 – a staggering 75% increase from the previous year. Hospitality now ranks as the fifth most affected sector, following retail, manufacturing, construction, and real estate.

Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), is calling for immediate and sustained intervention from the new government. “The anticipated governmental shift following the General Election offers a pivotal opportunity for ministers and MPs to support and rejuvenate the night-time economy. We urge all incoming MPs across the UK to engage in meaningful dialogue with the nightlife community. Effective communication is crucial to understanding our challenges and developing practical solutions.”

Kill emphasises that regional leaders, including mayors, city council heads, and key agencies, must prioritise the NTE’s needs. “Policies should aim to alleviate the inflationary pressures on businesses, stabilise the current trading environment, and protect our cultural landscape. The sector is currently beset by infrastructure and regulatory challenges that hinder recovery and leave small and medium enterprises, as well as our cultural heritage, extremely vulnerable.”

The NTIA asserts that the incoming government must act immediately and decisively to bolster the UK’s night-time economy. Failure to do so risks the collapse of a sector that plays a vital role in the nation’s cultural and economic vitality. “We are prepared to work collaboratively with our elected representatives to ensure a prosperous future for the night-time economy and the communities it serves. The time for action is now; the survival of our sector depends on it.”

The NTIA stands ready to assist the government in crafting and implementing policies that will revive the night-time economy, ensuring it remains a vibrant and essential part of the UK’s social and economic fabric.

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