A levy on late night licensed premises in Nottingham is to be revoked from next month in a bid to ease financial pressure on local businesses.
Nottingham’s Late Night Levy was introduced in 2014, levying a charge on licensed premises across the city operating between midnight and 6am. The funds raised were split between the council and police to tackle late night alcohol-related crime and disorder by providing targeted support to help to police and manage the night-time economy.
An exemption agreed for members of the Business Improvement District (BID) reduced the expected income from the Levy to around £67,000 a year – with the BID continuing to fund other late night support schemes such as street pastors and taxi marshals through its membership subscriptions. However, as the economic situation for the hospitality industry has changed since the introduction of the Levy eight years ago – first with the impact of the Covid pandemic and now the cost-of-living crisis – it is felt the Levy is placing a difficult burden on existing licensed trade businesses and could be a barrier to incoming or expanding businesses.
The council’s Licensing Committee considered the matter earlier this year and following a consultation where the vast majority of responses were in favour of revoking the Levy, this is what it recommended to the meeting of the Full Council next Monday (September 12th). Full council today endorsed the revocation of the scheme meaning the Late Night Levy will come to an end on October 31st.
Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Inclusion, Cllr Neghat Khan, said: “A lot has changed since the Late Night Levy was introduced eight years ago, with the hospitality industry really struggling during the pandemic – only to be hit by the cost-of-living crisis bringing them higher bills and lower incomes from reduced customer numbers.
“It was the right time for us to consider whether the Levy should be revoked, to ease the financial burden on existing businesses and to help encourage businesses looking to expand or invest in Nottingham’s late night economy.”
It is anticipated that the loss of this income will be offset by Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner receiving an extra £13 million towards recruiting more Police Officers. It is expected the licensing regime can provide the necessary safeguards against the potential for more premises seeking to open late at night and any associated anti-social behaviour.