A group of cross-party MPs and peers have today come together to establish an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the UK’s Night Time Economy.
The group, which is chaired by Jeff Smith – Labour MP for Manchester Withington – will provide a key voice for the sector in parliament to address the immediate “COVID-induced crisis” it is facing and future challenges is likely to come up against.
The move comes as the sector and its supply chains are at risk of collapse due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, combined with “insufficient sector specific financial support from government”.
The group states that it believes the current crisis is an “existential threat” to the Night Time Industry sector.
The sector has “borne the brunt of COVID-restrictions” with many businesses having been ordered to remain closed since March, and there has also been widespread concern across the sector that it has been particularly under-represented politically, and undervalued both culturally and economically in government, with many misconceptions around business models and market segmentation.
In a positive step for the sector, the inaugural meeting of the APPG took place this morning.
The meeting marks the recognition of the specific challenges facing night time businesses, and sets a new dialogue between the sector and parliamentarians across the political spectrum.
The new APPG will be supported by the Night Time Industries Association.
The NTIA will seek to provide industry insight and secretariat services to the group going forward.
Speaking on the inaugural meeting this morning, Jeff Smith MP – Chair of the new APPG – said: “The night time sector is hugely important to both the UK economy and our cultural identity – particularly in Greater Manchester, where have a proud tradition of music, arts and entertainment, and where music tourism alone generated £169 million for our local economy pre-pandemic.
“In the past nine months, the sector has faced enormous challenges, and thousands of bars, nightclubs, and live events businesses are at risk of collapse.
“As a former and event manager and DJ, I feel strongly about the importance of these businesses, so I am pleased to be chairing the new cross-party group to support night-time industries [and] we will be working hard to ensure that this usually viable, thriving and world-leading sector can not only survive the Covid crisis, but prepare for a prosperous, long-term recovery.”
Michael Kill – CEO of NTIA – added: “It is vitally important that the Night Time Economy has its own voice, and alongside businesses, associations and participating parliamentarians, we welcome the All Party Parliamentary Group to further support and clarify the challenges around the industry, and help recognise its cultural and economic value both within the UK and internationally.”
“We are extremely pleased to have the support of many cross-party parliamentarians, and believe that this group will have a substantial part to play in the regeneration of the night time economy in the next 12 months.”
You can find more information via the NTIA website here.
Man arrested after Stockport homes were evacuated due to ‘suspected hazardous materials’
A man has been arrested after the discovery of “suspected hazardous materials” led to several homes being evacuated in Stockport.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) explained that the discovery of the so-called “suspected hazardous materials” was made by police yesterday (Thursday 1 June) during a search of a property on Middleton Road in the Reddish area of Stockport.
Officers attended the property in response to intelligence about the manufacturing of illegal fireworks.
No injuries have been reported following the discovery, GMP confirmed, and a 100-metre cordon is currently believed to still be in place around the area.
Residents of the several homes that were asked to evacuate yesterday have been relocated, either to the homes of their family and friends, or directed by Stockport Council to Houldsworth Village and Broadstone Road if they had no alternative accommodation.
The residents were told by GMP that, although they would be kept regularly updated, it was “unlikely they will be able to return home,” yesterday evening.
Following the discovery, GMP declared a major incident and instructed specially-trained representatives from relevant agencies to conduct the “timely and safe recovery” of the hazardous materials, all while asking members of the public to “avoid the area” so this could be carried out.
The arrested suspect, a 50-year-old man, is currently being held in police custody under Section 4 of the Explosive Substances Act.
“We understand this news will have caused some concern in the community, not just amongst the residents who have unfortunately been displaced,” Chief Inspector Jamie Collins admitted in a statement addressing the ongoing situation yesterday.
“Our highest priority is keeping people safe, which is why we have put a cordon in place, evacuated properties, and warned members of the public to avoid the area.
With it being the first time the two Manchester clubs have battled it out for the trophy in the final in the 151-year-old football competition’s illustrious history, tens of thousands of fans are expected to make the journey down to the capital.
But with this influx of excitable rival fans, admittedly, comes a set of challenges.
This is why The FA and TfGM have decided to introduce some measures, and issue travel tips and guidance, in a bid to make sure everyone stays safe, while still soaking in all the atmosphere of the historic day at the same time.
Due to what TfGM has called “significant” coordinated strike action by rail unions RMT and Aslef on Saturday, all supporters heading to the FA Cup final are advised to avoid trains and “consider alternative travel arrangements” instead – making sure to allow “additional time for travel” and planning their journeys “ahead of time”.
Fans are also being asked to check the road network carefully, as it’s also highly likely that traditional routes to Wembley will be “busier than normal” as a result of rail strikes.
The FA has confirmed that it will be providing 60 coaches for both Manchester clubs to help supporters get to Wembley and return to Manchester once the game has finished, but aside from this, TfGM has suggested that “anyone without an official match ticket should not travel to the game”.
The two Manchester clubs have been advised to encourage fans to use separate travel routes to each other to avoid clashes, and a list of service stations for each team has now also been published – confirming all the rumours to be true.
Allocation of motorway service stations
Manchester City supporters
Manchester United supporters
When it comes to the travel routes supporters of each team are advised to take, TfGM is urging Manchester City fans to take the M62/M1 as the first port of call, or taking the M6/M1 or M6/M6 Toll/M1 as a back-up option.
Manchester United supporters are encouraged to take the M6/M42/M40.
On top of information on travel routes and service station allocations, TfGM has also shared tips for matchday parking, tube travel around London, and more.