One in five nightclubs nightclubs in Britain have closed in the last three years, new figures suggest.
According to statistics published by the Night Times Industries Association (NTIA), there are now only 1,130 nightclubs remaining across Scotland, England and Wales.
It is down from the 1,446 nightclubs in December 2019 and 1,924 in 2014.
The NTIA, which represents businesses in the night-time economy, said that nightclubs must be protected.
Venues were badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, having been forced to close due to measures put in place to control the spread of infection.
Michael Kill, the NTIA’s chief executive, called on the UK Government to recognise the importance of nightclubs.
“Late-night economy businesses were one of the quickest sectors to rebound during the financial crash many years ago, harbouring an abundance of resilience and entrepreneurial spirit,” he said.
“It’s without a doubt that these businesses, particularly nightclubs, have a huge part to play in the regeneration of high streets in towns and cities across the UK.
“Beyond the generation of footfall through trade, domestic and international visitors to clubs support the local economy in secondary and tertiary purchases through accommodation, travel and retail.
“It is also key to recognise that these businesses play a key part in people’s decision-making process, from choosing a university or college to influencing investment choices for businesses relocating or expanding, to accommodate for a young workforce, not forgetting the important part they play in people’s physical, mental and social wellbeing.”
He added: “The Government needs to recognise the economic, cultural, and community value of clubs and the wider night-time economy.
“We must protect these businesses, using every means possible, and recognise their importance before it’s too late.”
A spokesman for the Treasury said the Government had made available support that offered a “lifeline” to hundreds of businesses.
“We’ve stood behind the hospitality sector throughout the pandemic with a £400bn package of economy-wide support that saved millions of jobs and offered a lifeline to hundreds of night-time businesses up and down the country,” he said.
“We also went long with that support through a Recovery Loan Scheme for nightclubs to grow and recover from unprecedented disruption.
“And at the Spring Statement we went further, announcing a £1,000 increase to the Employment Allowance which will cut taxes for hundreds of thousands of businesses.”