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Why what happens after dark matters to creative industries

I have been very vocal on this blog about the importance “nighttime economies” for cities and for its creative industries. So I continue to be encouraged by all of the attention that this topic is getting over the last year or so.

Recently, the Creative Industries Federation released a report called: Because the Night – Why what happens after dark matters to the creative industries. It’s a look at creative industries in the UK and the role that nightlife plays in supporting them.

Here are some of their takeaways:

Creative industries in the UK have been growing faster than any other sector since 2008. CIF estimates that 1/11 people now work in this space, with the number being much higher in London: 1/6.

The value of restaurants, clubs, bars, pubs, live music venues, and theaters, is that they are places to connect, showcase talent, develop ideas, and so on. They are also critical in attracting top talent because, well, people not surprisingly like to have fun.

In the span of one decade (2005 to 2015), it is estimated that the UK lost roughly half of its nightclubs. The total went from 3,144 to 1,733. From 2007 to 2015, London lost 35% of its “grassroots music venues”, which, historically, have served to support emerging artists.

Arguably, some of this may be due to changes in consumer preference and broader shifts in terms of the way people discover/consume music. But it’s also thought to be because of rising urban rents, concerns around noise and revelry, and so on.

Still, the nighttime economy in the UK is thought to be worth £66 billion per year and to employ some 1.3 million people. It’s an integral part of our urban economies and so it’s time we acknowledged and celebrated it as such.

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