A Bournemouth nightclub proprietor has predicted that more than half of local venues may never reopen following the latest national lockdown, despite BCP Council’s recent support package.
The late-night entertainment sector was thrown a lifeline by the local authority in December, when a financial support fund of £2million was announced.
Venues that can prove a reduction of at least 50 per cent in their annual revenue are able to apply for a maximum of £25,000 to help them stay afloat whilst they remain closed.
However, while Ty Temel, owner of ‘Halo’ nightclub, recognised that the grant is a “huge help”, he insisted that a lot more needs to be done for businesses to survive.
“It has been an extremely tough year for our sector, and while we’re happy that the council have heard our plea for help, the battle is not over yet”, he said.
“No one has actually received any money yet – grants have been released and applied for and we are still waiting.
“It has been nearly a year and not a penny. Regardless of how well you run your business or manage your money, we simply do not have a year’s worth of cash reserves, it’s just unrealistic to think this.
“I would say 50%, maybe more in fact, of venues will never reopen, including High Street shops as well.”
Mr Temel added: “To give you an example, Halo has now lost well over £1million worth of turnover since March, so with the greatest respect, the £10,000-£25,000 we may get will not touch the sides.
“Our rent is £20,000 a month, but it’s the principle that counts, the fact that we have been recognised and helped in the same way as other sectors within the hospitality industry have.”
With Boris Johnson stating last night that it is “too early” to tell whether lockdown measures will end in spring, clubs and bars could face another five months in limbo, and Mr Temel has called for further action to support businesses nationwide.
“I feel the government need to follow countries in Europe like France. One-off injections of cash do not help, we need ongoing support.
“As a suggestion maybe up to £10,000 a month or a certain amount of turnover given as an ongoing payment for every month we are in this mess.
“Then, and only then can we manage our cash flow.”
Bournemouth has already seen one of its largest nightclubs change hands since the start of the pandemic.
Cameo and Myu bar, formerly of the Deltic Group, was included in a £10m takeover by Swedish catering company Rekom.
The Deltic Group, which included Eden and Pryzm amongst its nightclub brands, put itself up for sale in October after it had been unable to open many of its venues since March.
Grace Hodgson, a waitress at Cameo and Myu bar, said: “It has been really tough since the start of the pandemic.
“Cameo did everything they could to comply with the guidelines and become more of a restaurant, but now we can’t even do that to keep it going.”
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