The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) have launched a campaign to establish the position of Night Time Economy Advisors in every major city in the UK, arguing they will help to kickstart the embattled sector’s recovery from pandemic closures.
To date, Night Time Economy advisors have been set up in Greater Manchester (Sacha Lord), Bristol (Carly Heath) Both of whom are supporting the NTIA push to have counterparts in similar roles by touting their own records in the jobs (both provide comment below). The position also exists in London in the form of Night Czar and is held by Amy Lamé.
The NTIA played a leading role in working with local and combined authorities in establishing the roles in those cities, and after successful implementation are now launching a campaign to establish more positions so that all the urban nightlife hubs in the UK can have a specific representative for the Night Time Economy (see editors notes for target cities).
Recent research by NTIA suggest the UK Night Time Economy was in 2019 worth £112.8b – which amounts to 5.1% of GDP – and accounts for 1.95m jobs. But the prolonged closures and restrictions on trade during the pandemic have ravaged the sector, with nearly 90,000 jobs lost since then, and almost a third of nightclubs no longer trading – and many that are still grappling with debts up to three years’ worth of trading profits.
In this context, the NTIA believes the solution to ensuring the sector can recover to anything like its previous strength is to have a representative that reports to the local or combined authority executive, spotlighting regional issues and championing and supporting the industry. Night Time Economy Advisors Carly Heath and Sacha lord comment on their roles and experiences below.
Michael Kill, CEO of the NTIA commented:
“The Night Time Economy sector – which has been hammered by the pandemic – is one of the most important for driving economic growth. But its importance is so much more than a number – these businesses are also of immense cultural value. They are hubs of the community – places where people go to meet and make connections that can last a lifetime. It would be a tragedy for this country if the nightlife sector didn’t meaningfully rebound from the pandemic.
“That is why today we are launching a push to establish Night Time Economy advisors in cities all over the UK, to steward the sector’s restoration and ensure it isn’t left to wither. We feel this is the only way the sector can recover its pre-pandemic vibrance.
“The examples in Bristol and Manchester show just what an incredible job can be done with this position, championing the sector and the region, both in local decision making and also nationally and internationally. They can also pick up specific issues and run with them to produce positive change, as we have seen with some progressive initiatives on drink spiking.
“We would call on all relevant local and combined authorities to engage with us on this to benefit the many millions who want to see thriving night time economies all over the UK.”
Sacha Lord, Nightlife Advisor Greater Manchester, commented:
“The Night Time Economy and Hospitality industry is fundamental to the recovery of cities up and down the country, particularly within this post pandemic environment.”
“The role of the Night Time Economy advisor plays a huge part in spotlighting regional issues, championing and supporting an industry which has been at the sharpest end of the pandemic.”
“This industry is bigger than the Automotive, Beauty and Fashion industries and has the breadth and scope to impact investment, culture and communities.”
“Its vitally important that it has its own voice, and is represented regionally and within major cities across the UK.”
Carly Heath, Bristol Night Time Economy advisor, commented:
“In my time as Night Time Economy Advisor in Bristol I have led on implementing a number of positive public health and safety intervention’s in the city’s night time economy, including on drink spiking, which has been of particular interest lately. My role enables the Council to take a coordinated city-wide approach to issues that arise and provide a quick and nimble response across the local authorities, from local council, police, NHS and care services and the universities, and connect these to action within the local industry and night time audiences.
“The Night Time Economy can often be seen as a problem in policy making circles – issues such as crime, antisocial behaviour, drug and alcohol consumption and noise complaints are a big part of what any city council will deal with. With a dedicated officer to advise on solutions around these issues, and to act as a conduit between the local authority and industry, the night time economy can start to be part of the solution in maintaining a safe and active night time community – and the sector’s huge contribution can be better accounted for in policy decisions.
“I’m a huge advocate for the needs of the night, and the importance of having a NTE advisor in every city.”