THE night-time economy and events sectors in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are facing financial ruin, permanent closures and job losses because of the coronavirus pandemic.

That's the warning to BCP Council leaders from a campaign and lobbying group which says the two sectors desperately need grant aid to survive.

And in a letter to councillors, officers and MPs yesterday, the group - The Guest List, says the economic, safety and social consequences of scores of businesses collapsing would be disastrous.

The Guest List represents key destination venues in the conurbation - a strategic industry group for Bournemouth’s night-time economy including Townwatch, but also embracing the wider BCP area.

The group covers all hospitality sectors in the food and drink market, but warns it is the late night sector, "the cultural beating heart of the younger element of the BCP community, which needs help the most."

The Guest List spokesman Ty Temel, owner of Halo nightclub in Bournemouth and director of Poole’s Sandfest said: "The night-time economy and events sector have been largely forgotten. They face ruin without urgent help.

"BCP Council is about to receive urgently needed funds from government to distribute to those businesses that have suffered the most during the pandemic. This time round, our sector really needs to be at the top of the list.

"The pandemic has been destroying the very heart of the night-time economy and events from day one."

Alan Dove, the chairman of Townwatch and one of key figures behind The Guest List added: "Nightclubs and event venues were the first to close and will almost certainly be the last to be allowed to re-open.

"Many have received no assistance. Most cannot trade properly, most not at all. And all are facing catastrophic decisions imminently."

"These businesses not only drive trade tens of millions of pounds into the local economy, they also carry out an unseen and difficult supporting role for city and town centre safety and provide a vital social outlet for many thousands of people."

Mr Dove said: "The industry now asks for BCP Council grant aid to be focussed on the late-night and events sectors which have as yet received little or no funding support at all.

“It's make or break time."