Nottingham venue owner calls for lifting of 10pm curfew ‘as soon as possible’

Anton Lockwood

A Nottingham-headquartered venue owner and events promoter is calling for the Government to lift the 10pm curfew on pubs and bars “as soon as possible”.

Anton Lockwood of DHP Family Promotions, which owns Rock City, Stealth and the Boedga in Nottingham – as well venues across the UK – says that the company’s venues offer a much safer space to socialise in than potential house parties.

Lockwood told TheBusinessDesk.com: “We’re calling for the Government to lift the 10pm closing time as soon as possible.

“Our venues provide a safer, more managed environment for socialising than the house parties which young people will attend in greater numbers now.”

Lockwood was speaking ahead of a speech by Chancellor Rishi Sunak today, in which he expected to offer a German-style top-up scheme for workers returning from furlough at the end of October.

However, DHP has it own demands.

Lockwood said: “We’d like to see a strong and supportive replacement for the furlough scheme to support the many employees across the live music and events industries who are facing a bleak future.

“We also want to see the 5% VAT rate on tickets continued through to 2022, as very few tickets are being sold at the moment. Rates and other costs for grass roots music venues should also suspended until 2022, and the Government needs to support an insurance scheme which means events can be insurable.”

Lockwood said that DHP is exploring the possibility of socially-distanced live events at its venues after the success of a month-long residency at the bandstand in the Arboreturm Park in Nottingham which drew healthy crowds and created 60 jobs.

He added: “Whilst the success of our socially distanced events at Nottingham Arboretum have been a ray of light for live music during this difficult period, they are simply not a full-time solution for the music industry.

“As summer draws to a close, outdoor events become less viable and reduced capacities are not feasible long-term.”

DHP says it is in the planning stage for more events coming up throughout the winter months.

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