The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) Scotland has published a letter, pleading with the Scottish government for greater financial support for the sector and a clearer path out of lockdown.
In the letter, the trade group warned of the industry’s “Armageddon” as it criticised the “unfair treatment” the sector has faced, particularly with the announcement of an end to financial support without announcing the removal of restrictions on the sector.
Mike Grieve, chair of the NTIA Scotland Commission, said: “Enough is enough. Our sector is drowning in a sea of debt as rent and other costs keep being incurred. And there is despair that not only don’t we have a road map to re-opening, but we have a cliff edge at the end of April when all existing financial support comes to an end and the restrictions carry on.
“We need more financial help and we need it to continue until we can fully re-open. The nature of our businesses means that we can’t operate sustainably with any form of social distancing and restrictions.”
He added: “We take no pleasure in setting that out. Nevertheless it’s a commercial and economic reality that has to be faced.”
Michael Kill, chief executive of the NITA, said: “At least in other parts of the UK we have a glimmer of hope in the form of a clearly set out roadmap. I urge the Scottish Government to review their treatment of large parts of our sector.
“It is simply unconscionably unfair to let night time businesses fail in the form of a long slow decline into debt and bankruptcy when they are not to blame in any way and have consistently tried to work constructively with the Scottish Government.”