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Almost Half of UK’s Nightclubs ‘Have Gone Out of Business Since 2005’

Updated: 5th February 2020

Close to 50 per cent of the nightclubs open around the UK in 2005 have gone out of business over the course of the last decade.

That’s according to the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), which represents nightclub venues and records trends among entertainment-focussed companies throughout the country.

While the decline in the number of nightclub venues has clearly been bad news for dozens of associated businesses and their employees, the ALMR is also convinced that the current trend will have a negative impact on the UK “culturally, socially and economically”.

The latest figures suggest that there were 3,144 nightclubs operating nationwide in 2005 but only 1,733 remain open in 2015.

It is unclear precisely why so many late-night entertainment venues have been forced to close their doors but most observers suggest a combination of factors are at play.

“With the advent of later pub opening hours, the smoking ban, student tuition fees and the squeeze that a lot people are under financially since the recession, I think people are finding different ways and different places to go out,” said Lohan Presencer from the Ministry of Sound nightclub group.

“I don’t think the number of people going clubbing at the weekend is any different to where it was 20 years ago, but I do think they are going to different places,” he told the BBC.

Another problem for nightclub operators highlighted by the ALMR is that local licensing laws around the UK are making it relatively easy for residents of towns and cities to register noise complaints that lead to certain venues losing the late-night licences they need to be profitable.

Kate Nicholls, the ALMR’s chief executive, has also pointed out that nightclubs are an important source of employment for young people in the UK, with venues nationwide having “generated 37,000 new jobs with over 80 per cent for 18-24 year olds”.

While acknowledging the “important contribution” nightclub operators and their businesses make to the economy, a spokesperson for the British government has insisted that regulations around the country “strike a fair balance between making sure we have music entertainment for the public and preventing crime and disorder”. We have an extensive network of 78 offices offering confidential director support across the UK.