Night Time Economy Businesses are anxious they will be left out in the cold by the Government when the Forfeiture Moratorium comes to end in March. With rent being the second biggest cost for businesses within the Night Time Economy, equating to an estimated 8 – 10% of Annual Turnover, there is some real concern that the Government have turned their back on businesses, leaving landlords who have not reached agreements with commercial tenants to take action for non payment of rent.
Michael Kill, CEO NTIA said, “Over 88% of Nightclub businesses are over two quarters of rent in arrears, and we are poised for a windfall of landlords taking action at the end of March when the Forfeiture Moratoria comes to end. Reclaiming property and utilising the current proposed changes in planning reform under permitted development rights to allow for the demolition and rebuilding of ‘vacant and redundant’ light industrial buildings, will culminate in us losing many of our much loved cultural spaces and social environments to housing.
“The Government’s early attempt at commercial rent resolution through a Code of Conduct did little or nothing to secure confidence within the sector, with many rallying for the introduction of a COC with mandatory elements similar to the Australian model.
“We are in an unusual position where businesses are backed up with rent debt due to the pandemic, the moratoria has prevented action being taken by landlords who are suffering similar financial pressures from lenders.
“This has brought about a call from the sector for stakeholders to share the burden of backdated rent debt, Government, lenders, landlords and tenants taking an equal share of the shortfall.
“At this point, we may be able to move forward, and focus on managing the relationships between landlords and tenants, and deliver reasonable commercial terms for the future.
“It is vitally important that we protect these businesses, these amazing creative spaces are the breeding grounds for nurturing talent, bringing communities together, generating high streets, building resilience and expanding the global phenomenon around UK club culture and electronic and live music.
“The Government needs to support Nightclubs and Late Night Venues with a robust financial package and which is tailored to support businesses that have been closed since March and a roadmap giving a clear indication of the timelines for re opening against the backdrop of the vaccination rollout, to give hope to many who are overburdened with debt.”