West Sussex’s nightclubs shutting down as revellers favour nights in

The number of nighclubs across England has fallen by 16 per cent since 2013
The number of nighclubs across England has fallen by 16 per cent since 2013

Nightclubs are struggling to survive in West Sussex as party-goers abandon the dancefloor in search of new nights out, data reveals.

Industry experts say the night-time economy is under pressure as cheap alcohol prices in supermarkets have encouraged drinking at home.

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There were 70 licensed clubs in West Sussex in 2018, down from 75 in 2013, according to the latest Office for National Statistics figures – a seven per cent drop in five years.

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

More nightclubs may go, according to market research group IbisWorld, as companies focus their efforts on expansion in other industries.

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 in 2005 have allowed pubs and bars to stay open later, taking nightclub customers.

Across England, the number has fallen by 16 per cent since 2013.

Martin McTague, policy chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “A major issue for this industry are the sheer number of burdensome regulations that are adding huge costs to businesses.

“The night-time economy is worth billions to the UK, but firms are being faced with strict licensing laws, rising insurance costs, ever-increasing business rates on top of burgeoning employment costs and other liabilities.”

To avoid identifying individual clubs, the Office for National Statistics has rounded the numbers.

• Report by Miguel Rodriguez, data reporter