UK could soon be left with just 5,000 nightclubs, according to study


The UK could soon be left with just 5,000 nightclubs in operation across the country, according to a new study.

The findings were made by two hospitality-focused software companies, Stampede and StoreKit, using data obtained from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The results showed that, despite an uptick in registered hospitality businesses since 2019, the UK’s nightlife sector is in decline. Between 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, the number of pubs, bars and clubs in the UK dropped, continuing a trend that has seen businesses in the sector shutting in high numbers for a decade.

According to the ONS, there were 10,040 registered clubs in the UK in 2010. However, by 2015 that number had fallen to 8,370 in 2015 and again to 6,985 by 2021. Using that data, the study predicts that the number of clubs in the UK will soon drop to 5,000 or less.

Clubbers supportGeneral view of clubbers. CREDIT: Jake Davis / Alamy Stock Photo

“With continued uncertainty, home-working & low footfall there’s no denying that the industry is facing an extremely tough few months,” Christophe Delacroix, the CEO of StoreKit, said.

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the country’s nightlife sector has caused many establishments to face financial issues. The government responded with some financial assistance packages, including a £1billion support package introduced in December 2021 after the emergence of the Omicron variant. However, industry bodies and venues alike have called the support “woefully inadequate”.

“We welcome any announcement from Treasury that recognises the very serious situation facing grassroots music venues, and other cultural and hospitality spaces, operators and staff,” the Music Venue Trust said in a statement last month. “Regrettably today’s announcement appears seems a woefully inadequate response to the reality of the position.”

Speaking to NME, Tunbridge Wells Forum manager Chris Pritchard said more financial support would be required should gigs, tours and events continue to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “How much do we need? It’s completely unknown at this stage but I can say that for the work we do to develop artists in the early stages of their career, we need a lot more, pandemic or not,” he said.