Wakefield nightclubs close as home booze hits trade

Night out with police in Chesterfield.
Night out with police in Chesterfield.

Nightclubs are struggling to survive around Wakefield as the night-time economy comes under increasing pressure, data reveals.

Cheap alcohol prices in supermarkets are encouraging drinking at home.

There were 85 licensed clubs in Wakefield in 2018, down from 100 in 2013, according to the latest Office for National Statistics figures...a 15 per cent drop in five years.

The data includes nightclubs, and social and working men’s clubs licensed to sell alcohol.

In Wakefield, the decline has been steady over five years, as there were 95 businesses in 2016.

Ashley Johnson, industry analyst at IbisWorld, said: “Many consumers purchase cheap supermarket alcohol to drink before going out rather than buying more expensive drinks in clubs, constraining industry revenue. Efforts to revive alcohol sales by offering cut-price drinks have been unable to fully compensate for this fall.”

A recent IbisWorld report highlights that licensing changes from 2005 allow pubs and bars to open longer, taking nightclub customers.

Martin McTague, policy chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “A major issue is the sheer number of burdensome regulations that add huge costs on top of burgeoning employment costs and other liabilities.”