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A thriving night scene is valuable to the UK’s creative industry, says new report

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Neil Hanna: Deep Time at Edinburgh International Festival 2016

A report released by the Creative Industries Federation (CIF) aims to demonstrate the value of the UK’s night scene to its creative sector. Aimed at government and local authorities, the report aims to show how the night-time economy, which is currently under threat, provides the creative industry with venues and business opportunities as well as boosting local culture.

The research states that the night-time economy is estimated to be worth £66bn a year to the UK economy, yet statistics show that it’s in decline. In the past decade the number of UK nightclubs has almost halved, while London has lost 35% of its grassroots music venues. The report states this “reduced the opportunities for new and emerging artists to reach an audience”.

“The night-time economy contributes to the physical infrastructure of the broader British creative scene, offers opportunities to showcase and develop talent, grows audiences and fosters local creative networks,” the report says. “For many creative businesses, the night-time economy is important in attracting and retaining staff who want to live and work in vibrant towns and cities.”

Leading figures from the creative sector are quoted in the report, such as John Sorrell, The Beautiful Meme’s creative director Tom Sharp and Kerstin Mogull, managing director at Tate. Kerstin says “creative towns and cities depend on their nightlife – think The Colony Room or the bars and pubs around any art school – the evenings are when people come together, groups form and ideas are born. They are the key to attracting creative people to cities in the first place.”

Tom Sharp says: “The debates about politics and magic and ideas and weirdness and kerning that feed our work happen in night-lit dens across London. In galleries – famous and popup – we find art and culture that sets ridiculously high bars. Almost everyone exciting we’ve ever worked with was met during evening adventures. There’s a reason vampires are the sexiest monsters.”

Read the full report here.