Thousands of nightclubs shut doors as young people flock to bars and gyms

Rave nights may be a thing of the past as the number of clubs has fallen by 5,000 in a decade, according to research.

In 2008, there were 13,505 UK nightclubs, but by last year, that number had fallen to just 8,703, according to analysts IBIS World.

Experts have blamed laws on obtaining 24-hour drinking licenses and more young people preferring to visit bars and gyms.

Last month, a club popular with Towie reality TV stars and celebrities was forced to close after a string of violent attacks.

Club 195 in Epping, Essex, experienced eight incidents, including a stabbing, between October and January.

And the Britannia Bar and Nightclub in Scunthorpe town centre, Lincs, recently shut after plans were passed which could mean it is developed into offices, a shop and a cafe.

IBIS World’s Alexander Green said: “The decline has been ­developing for some years.

“Alterations to the Licensing Act in 2003 significantly increased competition, as more businesses could obtain 24-hour drinking licenses.”

He added the “craft beer trend” means many people aged between 18 and 24 are now more likely to visit pubs than clubs.

Cost pressures have also had an effect, Mr Green said. Between August and October, 2017, 82% of 18 to 21 year olds went out once a week or more. In the same period last year, this fell to 66%.

Alan Miller, of the Night Time Industries Association, said “a lack of later and 24-hour licensing is the real nub of the problem”.

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