MPs are to investigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the night time economy.
The newly formed House of Commons group, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Night Time Economy, will conduct an inquiry into how the sector has been hit by the virus and related lockdown measures.
Led by APPG Chair, Jeff Smith MP, who previously worked in the night time economy before becoming a politician, the investigation is calling for evidence from night time economy businesses, employees, freelancers and consumers.
With consultations will run throughout the month of January, the inquiry is due to report in February on the challenges facing the sector, its importance to our society and economy, and how nightlife can be reopened in the coming months.
“As we move now into a third national lockdown, there has never been a more important time for government to address the urgent needs of night time economy businesses, their supply chains and those that rely on them for employment," said Smith.
"Despite playing such a vital role in our local communities and UK economy, nightlife businesses have been repeatedly overlooked by the government, and we are determined to ensure that the specific challenges facing the sector are addressed. This inquiry will be a vital first step in our work.”
Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, said his members welcomed the parliamentary intervention.
“Since March, we have seen the night-time sector berated, scapegoated and even blamed for rising infections," he said. "Our sector has slipped through the cracks of insufficient support packages and borne the brunt of ever-changing and inconsistent restrictions. We urge all those who work in the night-time economy, or simply enjoy a night out, to take part in the APPG survey to help policymakers understand the importance of our vital sector.”
The inquiry is currently accepting written submissions, with the possibility of taking oral evidence later on.
Another group of MPs are also engaged in investigating the music industry, with The House Of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee currently examining the impact of streaming and the future of UK music festivals.