NTIA backs ‘urgent’ industry appointment to London ‘night mayor’

Lutz Leichsenring Mirik Milan

Leading figures from London’s bars, clubs and music venues have called for the urgent recruitment of a “night mayor” from within the industry.

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) made the recommendation after bringing together key figures and organisations to discuss the role of “Night Time Economy Champion” proposed in a report by London mayor Boris Johnson’s Music Venues Taskforce.

At an event hosted by creative agency Mother London, Amsterdam’s night mayor Mirik Milan and Lutz Leichsenring of the Berlin Club Commission (pictured) talked about how similar initiatives had worked in their cities.

They emphasised the need to work with venues and communities and to collaborate with government. They also stressed the critical need for the Night Time Economy Champion to come from within the industry so that they understood the issues first hand.

Several people spoke about ensuring the whole of the night culture was supported, not just the “sanitised mainstream elements”, taking into account the counter culture that is key to a thriving nightlife.

Community interaction and responsibility were also discussed as well as the need to emphasise the benefit of the night culture through its economic value as well as its cultural and social benefits.

The NTIA concluded that the event highlighted the importance of urgently appointing a Night Time Economy Champion from an industry background and that the role should coordinate and amplify voices from across the entire night-time “ecosystem”.

Music and entertainment entrepreneur Sir Harvey Goldsmith, who sits on the NTIA’s advisory board, said: “Music venues of all kinds are enormously important as the life blood for any city as the platform for the next generation of international talent. That’s why we at the NTIA support the Mayor of London in the important step of creating a Night Time Economy Champion.”

NTIA chairman Alan Miller, whose own ventures included operating east London’s Vibe Bar for nearly 20 years, added: “Bringing Mirik and Lutz to London has been a very useful exercise to help shape the understanding for the Mayor’s Office in terms of the role needed for Night Time Economy Champion.

“Having three deputy mayors for police, economics and culture all in the room enabled a really useful discussion to fine-tune what is needed.

“This is all part of the work we are doing nationally to drive the enormous value and contribution to UK culture and business of the night-time industries in society.”

Alan formed the NTIA in April with leading operators as a voice for the late-night sector to increase awareness and understanding of its contribution and benefits and to influence policymakers.

Photography by Charlotte Van Berckel

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