Council Demands Government Support for Struggling Sheffield Nightlife

11 February 2021

Sheffield City Council has called on the Government to offer assistance to the nightlife industry as the UK’s lockdown continues.

The Council submitted a set of proposals to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on 9 February, assembling an inquiry into the night-time economy.

This inquiry comes as the Council attempts to ensure a level playing field can exist between pubs, restaurants, takeaways and shops throughout the pandemic.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment at Sheffield City Council, said: “We have iconic venues and events in Sheffield that are known worldwide and are an integral part of our appeal as a visitor destination.

“The Council is calling on the Government to support these businesses who have been hardest hit by the pandemic so that when the time is right, they can come back fighting.”

A request has been made for the continuation of the furlough scheme, as well as the furtherance of business rates relief, until the end of 2021.

The Council has been working alongside industry partners to strengthen their bid – enlisting the help of non-profit organisation UNIGHT and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

Dave Pickersgill, Pub Heritage Officer of CAMRA Sheffield, said: “The Government should realise the immense value of pubs to communities, individuals and the economy – it should protect them and allow them to trade on par with restaurants and shops.

“Pubs are essential to our local economy and we should be doing all we can to support them to survive through these difficult times, not hindering them.”

The Frog and Parrot pub on Division Street.

The manager of the Frog and Parrot, a popular pub based on Division Street, Sheffield, is confident the establishment will survive with necessary assistance.

Nick Simmonite, Chair of UNIGHT and Manager of the Frog and Parrot, said: “With support, we will bounce back. We are ready to provide the services sand experiences that we absolutely know our people are going to want right now.

“So many businesses I work with are on their knees, because of the pandemic, and many will not survive. I hope that the Government will listen to those working in the industry throughout this unprecedented time.”

The All-Party Parliamentary Group is now calling for evidence from night-time economy businesses. Any relevant owners, managers and employees are urged to submit their viewers to the inquiry via https://www.ntia.co.uk/appg.

Written by Charlie Haffenden

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