Additional financial support announced for nightclubs
Additional support for nightclubs which will see venues receive payments of up to £36,500, has been announced by Finance Minister Conor Murphy.
Nightclubs have been the businesses that have seen the greatest degree of restrictions put in place by the executive to control the spread of the coronavirus. When other hotel businesses were able to reopen between May and October, nightclubs remained closed, but financial support from the Localized Restrictions Support Scheme (LRSS) ceased.
Land & Property Services (LPS) worked with Hospitality Ulster and other departments to agree a definition of a nightclub. LPS has identified sites that meet this definition and should receive a payment equivalent to the amount they would have received from the LRSS between May and October.
Visiting the Thompsons Garage nightclub in Belfast which will benefit from the extra payment, Finance Minister Conor Murphy said: ‘Throughout the pandemic nightclubs have been subject to additional restrictions and closures beyond those to which face other hotel companies.
“By working closely with Hospitality Ulster to agree the definition of a nightclub, Land & Property Services have been able to accurately identify businesses that have been impacted by the tighter restrictions and provide them with this additional financial support.
“This is in addition to the Omicron hospitality payment as well as the 24-month vacation rates that my department provides to these establishments. These measures will ensure that this vital part of our nighttime economy is supported.”
Welcoming the support for nightclubs, Colin Neill, Managing Director of Hospitality Ulster, said: “This additional funding will be welcomed by the nightclub industry which has struggled for almost two years due to closures and We thank the Minister for acknowledging the position of the nightclub industry and his department for working with us to ensure this support program is made available to those most in need of resources. as they begin to reopen.
“This funding will help ease the debt burden on individual nightclubs as they begin to plan for their recovery and ensure customers can be welcomed back into the vibrant pre-pandemic nightlife industry. . The hospitality sector was one of the worst hit during the pandemic and nightclubs the hardest hit. This financial support will provide some relief and we look forward to working with the Minister and his executive colleagues as we begin to band together and move the revitalization of the sector forward.