NTIA & Save Our Scene Announce ‘Culture Calling’ Demonstration Demanding VAT Cut for Hospitality & Cultural Sectors
Words: Rhys Buckham
October 17, 2023

Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) and Save Our Scene UK (SOS) have come together to launch ‘Culture Calling,’ a major campaign that promises to no longer tolerate the UK Government’s negligence towards the cultural and hospitality sectors, demanding a VAT Reduction to 12.5% for Cultural and Hospitality Sectors in the upcoming Budget.

Culture Calling is a rallying cry to anyone that values cultural spaces to stand up for these venues before they are extinguished forever. SOS and NTIA, alongside industry leaders, are calling out the government’s indifference towards our cultural sanctuaries, including Pubs, Nightclubs, Live Music Venues, Festivals, Bars, Restaurants, Cafes, Theatres, and the unsung heroes behind them.

The Government’s perpetual undervaluing of the hospitality and cultural sectors has left millions of businesses & jobs high and dry in times of crisis. Over 3.8 million freelance workers were left behind during the pandemic, over 13,000 night time economy and hospitality businesses have been sacrificed since March 2020, with countless more teetering on the precipice, impacting tens of thousands of livelihoods with no end in sight.

In 2019 the UK Night Time Economy generated over £116 billion in revenue, employing 1.94 million people and attracting 300 million nightlife tourists to the UK. In recent times we have seen a devastating shift, with figures showing a 20 billion drop in revenue leading to 2022 and beyond, as they have had no chance to recover.

In the last few years, the UK has lost one in three much loved venues and nightclubs, and is reported to be losing two pubs everyday due to the cost of operating crisis. The knock on effect for communities is vast, leaving many with few places to socialise and connect with each other. Culture Calling, alongside its partners, is demanding a VAT reduction for the hospitality & cultural sectors, in line with European counterparts, that could salvage thousands of businesses and safeguard countless livelihoods, as well as give a level of hope and security to the future of the sector.

Culture Calling’ rides on the passion and determination of Save Our Scene and the might of the NTIA. RESY/DENCY, Jubel Beer, Riot Noise & NDML have all stepped up, so far, as campaign partners. The campaign and demonstration looks to unite a relentless collective of supporters, from mainstream media to fearless industry titans.

In the coming four weeks, Save Our Scene and NTIA will be visiting cities across the UK, raising awareness through events, interviews and activations. The campaign’s peak will be the UK’s largest-ever cultural march on Saturday, November 18th, as the industry stands together to protect what so many hold dear.

The Culture Calling demonstration marks a critical turning point for the independent businesses and cultural sectors that have been severely impacted by the challenges brought on by the ongoing crisis. 

Visit https://www.culturecallingcampaign.co.uk for more information

Follow SOS, NTIA & Culture Calling Campaign