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Plan to scrap late night charges for Nottingham bars and clubs over ‘significant financial pressures’

todayMay 3, 2022 2

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Late-night charges for pubs, bars and clubs in Nottingham may be scrapped to help them recover following the coronavirus pandemic. The proposals concern the ‘Late Night Levy’ which venues must pay to remain open and trade in the city after midnight.

The city council said it could have retained the current levy, introduced in 2014, however a formal review “was deemed appropriate given the significant financial pressures faced by businesses”. It is just one of the ways the council is aiming to assist businesses in the hospitality sector and, over the course of the pandemic, it approved tens of new ‘al fresco’ dining and drinking areas across the city, for example.

The charge applies to venues which remain open after midnight. It would cease from October this year if councillors approve its scrappage.

Read more: Call for action at Nottingham City Council

The charge for the selling of alcohol late at night was introduced as a means of raising a contribution to fund services to tackle late night alcohol-related crime and the services connected to the management of the night-time economy.

The charges differ depending on the size of a venue, which is placed into a ‘band’ similar to council tax. Band A venues are charged £299 all the way up to Band E venues which are charged £1,495. There are an additional two venues in ‘Band E plus’ which are charged £4,440.

Most venues (71) are in Band B and charged £768. There are exemptions, however, for venues in the Business Improvement District (BID) – of which there are 109.

There are therefore 144 premises in the city which are liable for the charges and for the period from November 1, 2020, to October 31, 2021, the level of income received from the levy was £133,851, according to the council. However because this spanned the long periods of lockdown when most late-night venues could not open, the yearly fees were covered by the council through a Government grant.

Nottingham City Council added: “The pandemic business restrictions’ regulations highlighted the financial pressures on businesses and that the revocation of the levy could be considered as an approach to reduce that burden. The invest in Nottingham business growth strategy promotes and supports investment in the city and the LNL costs may be considered a barrier to incoming or expanding businesses.

“The hospitality sector has come under severe pressure in the last 24 months during the pandemic because of the restricted trading conditions. This may assist in the viability of existing businesses but also those considering opening in the city which may by virtue of their planned opening hours be liable for the LNL fee. This could support revitalising the economy within this business sector.”

Written by: thehitnetwork

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