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Night Time Economy

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The UK boasts of one of the most historical and tourists attractions and attracts tourists from all parts of the world. The UK economy is also home to an array of leisure activities such as London Fashion Week, Frieze Art Festival, The Brits, MOBO’s or The BAFTA’s, etc. There is also lots of entertainment industry in the UK, including independent bar owners, nightclub and restaurant owners, pubs, festival and live music event operators. There are also music managers and other supporters of the benefits of the Night Time Industry from the world of business, culture, media and politics.

All these are the major players in the night time economy within the UK. It is an undeniable fact that the UK leisure is the powerhouse of its economy. It lies at the heart of our tourist draw, the employment of our youth, our creative and cultural industries, the regeneration of our towns and cities, and our reasons for living there in the first place. The night time economy is the UK’s fifth biggest industry, which accounts for at least 8% of the UK’s employment and revenues of 66 Billion per annum (that’s 6% of the UK total). According to the Night Time Industries

A successful night time economy both serves and protects at least three groups of people – those who work in it or one of the industries serving it, those who use it and those who live and work around it. Some people fall into two or even all of these groups. The industry is driven by creative and entrepreneurial people, investors and landowners. “There are two types of people working in late-night hospitality: those who love it and enjoy the challenges, and those who simply need it to cover the rent. We don’t employ the latter. ”

The UK is a leader in the creative world because of the high quality and volume of acttivies that tale place at under the night time economy. Such activities ranging from the London Fashion Week, Frieze Art Festival, The Brits, MOBO’s or The BAFTA’s, etc. The Night Time Industry provides venues that people enjoy themselves and are entertained. The UK NTE is highly successful and organized. Most of the players at NTE are members of the Night Time Industry Association – an umbrella organization that promotes the unique contribution of the night time industry to the UK.

The NTIA is the voice for the sector and works to increase awareness and understanding of its contribution and benefits. It seeks to influence the decisions of policymakers and ensure that the night time economy continues to flourish, supporting regeneration, creating jobs and enhancing the UK’s international reputation. The UK night-time economy is worth ? 66bn, according to the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), and employs 1. 3 million people in hospitality and entertainment, including pubs, restaurants and music venues, and leisure and retail, including late-night shops, fast-food establishments, gyms and beauty salons.

And in recognition of the significance of the capital’s night-time economy, is the launch of the night tube, which offers a 24-hour service on Fridays and Saturdays on some London Underground lines. There are key features of a great night time economy. First, it attracts every sector of the population, regardless of age, race, gender, sexuality or physical or mental ability. Second, it caters for every interest, whether that is eating, drinking, dancing, music, performance or merely gathering. Third, it is attractive to all income groups. Nobody should be excluded from the night time economy on grounds of wealth.

Fourth, it should be accessible, whether by public or private transport, or on foot, at all hours. Fifth, it should be safe and amenable, through good signage, lighting, access and security; for a diverse range of users throughout the day and night Advantages/Benefits of NTE to the UK economy: According to the Night Time Industries Association, the UK night time industry accounts for almost 8% of the UK’s employment And generates revenue of 66 billion per annum, (6% of UK total) It helps to bring run down areas back to life, employing about 1. 3 million people

And generated traffic of about 300 million people visited for a night out or a meal in 2012 Other benefits of NTE: People generally move to the city in order to enjoy the type of social life and interaction that NTE provides. The leisure economy is a big part of the reason why people move to cities, including workers and students. Most importantly, the leisure economy is where, after the stresses of ever longer working days, we meet, eat, socialise, drink, dance, learn, laugh, fall in love, celebrate, and behave as we were born to behave, as social animals

NTE is fundamental to the tourist draw of the UK. It is the inspiration and foundation for much of its creative industries – fashion, music, media and performance. It is the driver for supply chains of vital importance to local economies including food and beverage, transportation, retail and security. In a recent NTIA study they found that the UK’s night-time economy, which also includes restaurants and pubs, is worth ? 66bn and employs around 1. 3 million people.

“In every respect the benefits vastly [of nightlife] outweigh the costs,” says Alan Miller Chairman of NTIA. “But sometimes people hold onto an old script [that says] nothing good happens in the night time…” Challenges/ Threats: In spite of all the economic benefits of the NTE as stated above, there seems some challenges associated with running a late-night business, countering the myth that they only attract antisocial behaviour, binge drinking and crime is the toughest, according to Alan Miller, chairman of the NTIA.

There are also threats to the existence of NTE, such as First, there has been an increasing trend of drinking at home, fuelled by price differentials between the on- and off-trade. Second, the ability to purchase leisure services on-line, whether films, sporting events or gambling services, has increased the relative attractiveness of home consumption of leisure. Third, increasing parking charges and reduced night transportation services are impediments to city centre use at night.

Fourth, increased habitation of city centres, which ought to help the night time economy, has threatened it. Where dwellings are built near to leisure premises, whether with planning permission or as a result of permitted development, local authorities come under pressure to reduce the hours, impact or even existence of the leisure facilities. Increasingly, leisure premises are being closed and sold off for housing, so reducing the number of facilities while increasing the local population wishing to use them.

Fifth, and most important, the key regulatory tool of the night time economy is licensing, which tends to be a reactive tool, whereas the main tool in the day time economy is planning, which works proactively. While planning is about place-making, licensing is about place-keeping. This must be resolved, for otherwise great night time economies will happen in spite of rather than because of the work of public authorities. Too often nightclubs are the victims of new developments or new landlords causing it to shut down. The UK has recently seen changes in the law which aim to protect nightlife.

A change that could mean that if a venue is in place before a new residential building, the new developer is responsible for dealing with noise impact on residents instead of the club. A cost that easily can become astronomical for a venue. Misconception of NTE: Food and drink entrepreneur Jonathan Downey is the co-founder (along with Henry Dimbleby) of London Union, which operates night-time licensed venues across London. He says it is a misconception that working in the night-time economy means dealing with drunk or abusive customers.

“But sometimes people hold onto an old script [that says] nothing good happens in the night time…”

The drawbacks can include:
• Noise pollution
• Crime and/or anti-social behaviour, particularly where alcohol is involved
Traffic congestion


Alan D Miller, IB Times: August 12, 2016 18:50 BST
Bevan, P. (2009) Tackling Night Time LEQ Issues. London: City of Westminster.
Booth, A., Meier, P., Shapland, J., Wong, R., Paisley, S., (2011) Alcohol Pricing and Criminal Harm: A Rapid Evidence Assessment of the Published Research Literature, University of Sheffield.
Cooper, J. (2005) Policy and Planning for City Centre Evening, Night-time and Weekend Economies, Entertainment and Transport Needs. London: Department for Transport.
Elvins, M. and Hadfield, P. (2003) West End ‘Stress Area’ Night-time Economy Profiling: A Demonstration Project: Final Report to the City of Westminster,
Heidi Scrimgeour, The Guardian, Wednesday 13th July, 2016
Farrington, D., Welsh, B., Effects of Improved Street Lighting on Crime,
Marsh, P., Bibby, K.F., (1992) Drinking and Public Disorder: A Report of Research Conducted for the Portman Group by MCM Research London: The Portman Group, p.132
Mayor of London, Best Practice Guidance, Managing the night economy
[email protected]

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