The owner of a globally-renowned nightclub in Bristol has shared his disappointment after the coronavirus roadmap was delayed.
Nightclubs were due to reopen from June 21 as part of the final step in the Government’s lockdown-ending roadmap, but it has been confirmed that this is no longer the case.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced yesterday (June 14) that so-called freedom day has been delayed by at least four weeks to allow more people to be vaccinated, amid rising cases of the Delta variant first identified in India.
The Night Time Industry Association carried out a survey of 300 UK venues following the announcement and found one in four late-night businesses will not survive longer than one month without further Government support.
Businesses such as nightclubs had already spent millions preparing to reopen after the Government announced its roadmap in February, said the association.
Martin Page, director of Bristol club Motion in St Philip’s, which is regularly hailed among the best in the world, labelled the setback a ‘devastating blow’.
“It’s a devastating blow for the sector as businesses have been busy working towards June 21 ever since the roadmap was announced,” he said.
“This has included hiring security staff and medics, re-stocking the bars, selling tickets for events and simply mentally preparing for the unlocking.
“It’s not easy having all of that taken away just one week before clubs were due to reopen. In light of the announcement, everyone will now have to initiate plan B and plan C to keep going.”
‘We are treading water’
Like all other venue owners across Bristol and further afield, Martin and his team will now have to go through the lengthy process of rescheduling and cancelling the shows Motion had lined up to celebrate the return of nightlife.
Motion launched a seated outdoor venue in May which has proved popular, however Martin said this open-air space is not for profit and instead purely designed to create work for staff.
“It’s difficult to remain so positive with all the anxiety surrounding this now, 16 months after our first closure,” he added.
“Like many others, we are treading water and it’s getting more difficult.
“All we can do is hold tight and carry on riding out the storm, and hope the NHS carry on their exceptional job of the vaccine rollout.”
It was announced in October 2020 that Motion would be handed £884,796 as part of Arts Council England’s Culture Recovery Fund, the final payment of which is expected to paid in the coming weeks.