Hospitality & Tourism

Published: July 26, 2020 | Updated: July 26, 2020

‘We’re fighting for survival so don’t leave us out to dry’ nightclub owners urge government

By Andrew Diprose, editor

Two leading nightclub owners and a group bringing together hospitality businesses in the BCP conurbation have thrown their weight behind a #LetUsDance campaign.

Launched by the UK night-time economy and events sector, the campaign is an urgent plea for support from the government.

It’s calling for the dance music events sector to be protected and recognised as an important part of the nation’s art and culture in parity with the wider live music sector.

The campaign points out that nightclubs and events generate millions of pounds in revenue for the economy.

They also add to ever-growing nightlife tourism figures with 300m visits a year across the UK.

Ty Temel, Owner of Halo Bournemouth, pictured left, said: “My bread and butter, and the foundations of my whole career, have been built on the nightlife and events industry.

“The pandemic has brought the industry to its knees and we need real help from the government to rebuild.

“Over the last seven-plus years, my ventures have been a stalwart of the local night-time economy and event scene, employing local people and bringing trade to Dorset businesses

“I’m wholeheartedly supporting this #LetUsDance campaign that demands recognition, protection and specific measures for our sector.”

Ben Reynolds, Owner of The Lost Paradise, pictured right, added: “Nightclubs and festivals are the epicentre of youth culture.

“They are safe social spaces to escape, explore, connect and, most importantly, have fun.

“We work hard to create an energy like no other.

“Myself, and many good friends, have dedicated our lives to them and remain fascinated by the pursuit of understanding the science behind them.

“Covid has hit us all very hard.

“Most of us have not received any grants and none of us can open yet.

“We are one of the few industries left to be recognised and most of us, including me, are in a survival battle.

“We pay vast amount of tax per square foot and the night-time economy plays a high value role in town centre footfall, tourism and regeneration.

“I am so proud to be part of this industry, especially seeing how everyone has come together in lockdown.

“We need the government to recognise the important part these sectors play in the nation’s art and culture and not leave us out to dry like they have to date.”

The campaign has also won the support of The Wonky Table.

Founded by restaurateur Andy Lennox, Managing Director and Founder of Zim Braai, to act as one voice during the pandemic crisis it has grown to represent more than 300 venues.

Key objectives include:

  • The club sector needs to be able to access extended furlough support past the October cut-off unless a clear date without social distancing in place is announced before the end of October.
  • A sector specific grant for all clubs in the industry that have not managed to secure one under the various other schemes regardless of rateable value.
  • Extended reduction for rateable value for another six months as the club sector will be the longest closed sector in the UK.

Andy, pictured right, added: “The club sector is still not open, has no prospective opening date and has received little to no support to date.

“This needs to change.

“Wonky are throwing our full weight behind making this change happen”

  • To support the campaign and #LetUsDance again post your favourite picture(s) from a recent nightclub, festival or event, using the hashtag #LetUsDance with all posts.