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Campaign launched to save Scotland's nightlife businesses



A number of bars, nightclubs and event venues across Scotland could be lost, which could create a “cultural void” ripe for illegal and unregulated raves, a campaign to save the night-time economy has warned.

The Freedom to Dance campaign has launched with a call for more support and funding from the Scottish Government to save jobs in the nightlife sector.

A survey of more than 300 businesses found that 83% will have to make redundancies when the furlough scheme ends next month.

More than three-quarters (75.4%) expect to lay off over half their workforce as a result of the financial impact of the coronavirus lockdown – putting up to 75,000 jobs at risk.

Music, currently banned in indoor venues, is cited as important to the business model of 95% of the businesses polled in the Night-Time Industries Association (NITA) survey.

The campaign argues the industries have neither a “road map” for reopening nor sector-specific funding.

NITA chief executive Michael Kill said: “We have to be given the opportunity to engage with Scottish Government to address the ongoing issues around businesses that are unable to open, potential road map and subsequent support before it’s too late, and we see a swathe of businesses go to the wall, and mass redundancies.”

Managing director of Glasgow’s SubClub, Mike Grieve, said: “We owe it to our youth to preserve safe, high-quality nightlife in Scotland for the future.

“Without urgent action, we will be left with a cultural void, ripe for unregulated and illegal events to step into.”

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Geoff Ellis, the chief executive of DF Events, said the sector has the ability to collect customer details for the Government’s Test and Protect system.

He added: “The alternative is unregulated parties and illegal raves which provides a greater risk of transmission.”

In a call to young people “to stand up and make our voices heard”, director of FLY events, Tom Ketley, said: “Nightlife in our country is now on its knees and without drastic action to save this, we could lose it forever.”



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