The owner of Stoke-on-Trent’s biggest nightclub is pleading with the Government to let the venue reopen.
The Deltic Group – which runs Fiction, in Hanley – has teamed up with the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) – to put pressure on ministers.
It warns that with no clear reopening date and the furlough scheme coming to an end in October that the late-night leisure sector faces collapse.
And it says a number of coronavirus safety measures can be brought in to ensure the venues can reopen. These include temperature checks, ID scans, crowd controls and contactless payments.
Deltic Group chief executive Peter Marks said: “The late-night leisure sector, a sector which employs tens of thousands of people across the UK, is at risk of collapse if the Government does not act now – it is that simple. We need a clear reopening plan, or at the very least fit-for-purpose financial assistance.”
In a survey, 58 per cent of night-time businesses revealed they will not survive beyond the next two months without further Government support.
NTIA chief executive Michael Kill said: “These survey results feel like the final catastrophic blow to the night-time economy, which employs 1.3 million people in the UK and contributes £66 billion to the UK economy per annum.
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“Almost every single business is on a dangerous cliff edge. This is the darkest of days for the night-time economy.”
Fiction, in Hanley, closed its doors on March 20 following the Government’s lockdown rules.
In a Facebook post, the Brunswick Street venue said: “Our teams are working safely in the background to ensure our venues reopen as tip top. We look forward to seeing you all very soon and will be hosting one hell of a welcome back party. Stay safe, look after each other and look back once this is over with pride.”