Late-night sector issues ‘desperate plea’

MEMBERS of Scotland’s late-night industry have issued a “desperate plea” for support and a clear path to reopening in an open letter to the Scottish Government.

The letter, signed by members of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) Scotland, calls on the Scottish Government to continue providing financial support while late-night venues such as nightclubs are required to stay closed. Currently support for businesses is due to end in April, and there is currently no indicative date for when late-night businesses might be allowed to reopen.

NTIA Scotland chair Mike Grieve said the sector is “drowning in a sea of debt as rent and other costs keep being incurred”.

“And there is despair that not only don’t we have a road map to re-opening, but we have a cliff edge at the end of April when what little financial support there is comes to an end and the restrictions carry on,” said Grieve.

“We need more financial help and we need it to continue until we can fully reopen.

“The nature of our businesses means that we can’t operate sustainably with any form of social distancing and restrictions.

“We take no pleasure in setting that out. But it’s a commercial and economic reality that has to be faced.”

NTIA chief executive, Michael Kill, urged the Scottish Government to “review their treatment of large parts of our sector”.

“It is simply unconscionably unfair to let night time businesses fail in the form of a long slow decline into debt and bankruptcy when they are not to blame in any way and have consistently tried to work constructively with the Scottish Government,” said Kill.