Night-time economy report provides boost for late-night licensed operators in England

The Local Government Information Unit (“LGiU”) and the Portman Group have published the results of their survey of over 100 council leaders, cabinet members, chief officers and service directors in English local authorities on their approach to managing the evening and night time economy in order to to determine how local government views:

  • their local night time economy,
  • the particular local challenges they face and
  • who takes the lead on this policy area within the council.

The survey:

  • ran for one month (between 17 July and 15 August 2018) and was sent to key decision makers within English local government – council leaders, chief executives, service directors and cabinet members and
  • received 111 responses, covering all English regions and 91 councils (5 Counties; 45 Districts; 18 Unitaries; 8 London Boroughs; 15 Metropolitan Unitaries); 70% of respondents were senior officers and the remaining 30% were councillors (lead members or leaders).

In a conclusion that is likely to be welcomed by responsible late-night licensed operators throughout England, the survey report’s main finding is that “a well managed night time economy brings a huge range of benefits to the local community and the area’s economy, as councils across the country have already recognised in their work. And with the rapidly changing high street landscape, there is a renewed urgency in ensuring the night time economy works for everyone”.

Other key findings listed in the survey report entitled “Local partnership working for a vibrant night time economy” (that can be downloaded below) are as follows:

  1. Three quarters (74%) of councils see developing their night time economy as ‘a key priority’ or ‘important’
  2. Almost all councils (92%) believe that the night time economy will play an important role in preventing the decline of high street retail
  3. Antisocial behaviour and crime is a major issue in the night time economy, with three quarters of councils (72%) placing it in their top three challenges
  4. 9 in 10 councils (88%) treat their area’s night time economy as a way of supporting local businesses and job creation; and 7 in 10 (74%) see it as a way of attracting new people to the area
  5. Only 1 in 5 (22%) councils have a dedicated night time economy strategy; but of those that do, many are planning for the long term – half say their strategy looks 4+ years ahead
  6. Partnership working is essential in supporting a vibrant night time economy, say 8 in 10 councils (79%), with local businesses (95%) and the police (93%) named as key partners by most councils
  7. Three quarters (75%) of councils say they would welcome national level policy to facilitate the sharing of best practice and information