THE future of nightclubs, late-night bars and music venues in Scotland are said to be under threat, with news that 83% of firms linked to the night-time economy plan to make staff redundant within weeks.

Survey results from Scotland’s Night-Time Industries Association (SNTIA) also found that 76% of businesses are set to make more than half of their workforce redundant. The body also found that 58% of businesses within Scotland’s night-time economy fear they will not survive longer than two months without further government support.

SNTIA surveyed its membership of nightclubs, asking them to assess the impact of the coronavirus pandemic after the government-enforced lockdown in March forced the immediate closure of venues.

Mike Grieve, managing director of Glasgow’s iconic Sub Club, said: “Of all the affected sectors of the Scottish economy, hospitality has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic.

“In the case of nightclubs, we were the first to shut down and without a shadow of doubt we will be the last of the last to re-open. Meanwhile there has been a staggering lack of support available to keep these economically significant and culturally vital businesses alive to protect the future of our hugely vibrant nightlife sector.”

He called for clarity on timescales for re-opening.

The night-time economy is one of the few remaining sectors without any clear road map out of the crisis.

The sector makes a significant economic and cultural contribution to Scotland but its future is becoming increasingly uncertain in absence of financial support.

SNTIA is leading calls for an extension to the UK Government job-retention scheme that is set to end in October, which it found is putting the businesses on a dangerous cliff-edge.

Just 19% of survey respondents reported that they have been able to re-purpose and these businesses are generating 40% less trade compared with this time last year. SNTIA fears for the future of the sector without such government initiatives aiding other sectors, such as Eat Out To Help Out.

Commenting on the survey, Michael Kill, chief executive of Night Time Industries Association said: “Without immediate additional help and clear indication of when we can re-open we are facing financial Armageddon.

“These results feel like the final catastrophic blow to the night-time economy and the thousands of staff employed in the sector.

“Businesses still can’t open their doors and haven’t been given any guidance on when they might be able too. Businesses are being forced to make the heart-breaking decision to let their loyal and hardworking staff go.”