What is The Global Nighttime Recovery Plan?

An insight into the stages of reopening nightlife globally

Academics, health experts and industry representatives from over 70+ cities worldwide have come together to work towards the Global Night Time Recovery Plan (GNRP), meant to share frameworks, studies and tools to look towards successfully reopening nighttime venues across the globe.

“The guide was created in response to the severe vulnerability of nighttime industries caused by Covid-19, and in acknowledgement of this unique opportunity for improved, night-centric city planning offered by the crisis.”

Global Nighttime Recovery Plan (GNRP)

Before Covid-19, the nightlife industries were suffering – particularly in the UK. 

A 2015 study from the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) found that the UK lost over 1400 clubs between 2005 and 2015 alone. 

The GMRP guide includes a survey conducted by Night Time Industry Association (NTIA) at the peak of lockdown in April 2020, uncovering the magnitude of economic concerns from 200+ nightlife businesses surveyed:

  • 63.8% felt reopening with social distancing would not be financially viable.
  • They estimated that they could only operate at an average of 43% capacity.
  • 43.1% felt that social distancing guidelines needed to be lifted in order for their business activities to restart.
  • Respondents estimated that the average cost of restarting activity after lockdown would be £31K each—and for nightclubs an average of £62K each.

The GNRP is a plan to alleviate these pressures and help safely reopen the sector. Hospitality is the 5th largest economy in the UK and provides 1 in 8 jobs in London. GDP figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the annual UK economy decreased by 9.9% in 2020 – the largest yearly fall on record, meaning that when hospitality suffers, the UK economy suffers. Most nightlife venues have been closed since March 2020.

Night time economy advisor for Manchester; Sacha Lord, has been very vocal with his recommendations for the UK’s nightlife recovery. Ahead of Rishi Sunak’s budget meeting on 3rd March, Lord has publicly requested:

1. The Chancellor reduced VAT from 20% to 5% – a fantastic move but for the majority of that period we were closed, he must extend this.

2. Business rates relief must also be extended, if it isn’t it could swipe the feet of many operators immediately.

3. We must extend furlough until we’re trading at 100% capacity – a move that would be in line with most of Europe.

Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Advisor for Greater Manchester

Currently, four chapters from the GNRP have been released already, covering:

Chapter 1: Open-air nightlife and events

Chapter 2: The Future of Dancefloors

Chapter 3: Innovating for 24h cities

Chapter 4: Sustaining our Nightlife Scenes

These chapters provide an indication of what to expect and how experts/advisors are currently working to reopen the nightlife industries and what can be expected in the future.

You can read the chapters here.

Words: Elle Farrell-Kingsley

Images: Night Time Global Recovery Plan, Studio 338

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