Industry welcomes first ‘night czar’ for Manchester

sacha lord manchester

The founder of clubs and music events including the Warehouse Project, Sankeys and Parklife has been appointed as the first “night czar” to defend Greater Manchester’s late-night economy.

The city’s mayor Andy Burnham announced that Sacha Lord (pictured) would become night-time economy adviser to champion bars, clubs and music venues and ensure people on a night out have a safe and enjoyable time.

He will be supported by a night-time economy panel made up of experts from across Greater Manchester. It follows the success of London mayor Sadiq Khan’s appointment of a night czar, Amy Lamé, two years ago.

The move was welcomed by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) as an “enormous step forward for our members and industry”. The association has been talking with Andy Burnham and his team over the past 18 months to explore ways to improve and protect Manchester’s nightlife.

NTIA chairman Alan Miller said: “This is a huge moment for us and we wish Sacha Lord, our board member and a veteran of Manchester and UK’s nightlife, all the very best in this new position.

“We have been continuously working with mayors, council leaders and stakeholders across the UK, and in particular with key cities as well as Manchester including Glasgow, Birmingham and Bristol, to set up night time commissions and explain the need for ambassadors to all.”

Richard Kershaw, chairman of the North West Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and chief executive of Manchester brewery and pub company Joseph Holt, said: “This is an exciting time for the region and I look forward to working with Sacha to make the 2,000 pubs in the area stronger and better-connected, so Greater Manchester will be even more attractive for night time revellers.”

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds added: “As the founder of Warehouse Project and Parklife, Sacha brings great experience and the drive needed to champion the region’s nightlife.

“There are 2,000 pubs operating in the Greater Manchester area and these are a huge part of the local economy, creating jobs and driving growth. As an industry though we face many threats from beer duty to business rates and I look forward to working with Sacha to tackle these challenges for the benefit of Greater Manchester’s nightlife and to ensure that we work in partnership as an industry which always wants to act responsibly.”

On his appointment, Sacha said: “I’m looking forward to visiting and meeting with the voices who represent Greater Manchester’s nightlife and working closely with our councils and all other partner agencies to achieve our goals.

“I’ll be taking a look at what is missing from our night-time economy, what we need to improve on and developing what is working well. From talking and listening to key voices across Greater Manchester, I envisage a synergy emerging, which will create a list of targets that I’ll be setting and announcing in the coming months.

“The night-time economy is the fifth biggest industry in the country, employing more than 8% of the UK’s workforce and here in Greater Manchester, we have always recognised its importance.

“Drawing on my 25 years’ experience in the sector, along with comments and opinions from all 10 boroughs and members of the panel, I’m looking forward to getting work and helping to build on Greater Manchester’s night-time economy.”

Also known as Sacha Lord-Marchionne, he has been running clubs and music events for 25 years, including Sankeys and the Warehouse Project in Manchester and festivals Parklife, Kendal Calling and Hideout.

Andy Burnham said: “Greater Manchester is known across the country and beyond for its thriving nightlife. By appointing a night-time economy adviser and panel, I want us to build on our strong reputation to make it even better – for residents, visitors and those who work in the sector.

“Sacha brings with him a wealth of experience. He’s a real Greater Manchester success story and I’m thrilled that he’s joining us as our first-ever night-time adviser.

“Improving the night-time economy across our city-region isn’t just about bars and clubs – it’s about ensuring our towns and cities have a diverse and appealing offer across Greater Manchester which can play to our local strengths, and improving transport links to ensure our towns and cities are better connected places that people can enjoy day and night.

“Building a better night-time across Greater Manchester also complements our plans to breathe new life into our towns through the Town Centre Challenge.”

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