FINANCIAL support for night-time businesses across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole is being considered following calls for more help for the sector.

In a letter to BCP Council sent earlier this week a group representing venues across the conurbation warned they “urgently” needed extra funding.

In response, cabinet member for the economy, councillor Phil Broadhead, said he recognised the “clear need” for more support and that he was working with businesses to provide financial aid.

The Guest List, which represents many of the area’s night time-focussed companies, said many were facing bankruptcy.

"The night-time economy and events sector have been largely forgotten,” its spokesman, Halo nightclub owner Ty Temel, said. “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."

Responding to the letter on Friday, Cllr Broadhead acknowledged the concerns and said he would be meeting with businesses groups to identify companies most in need of support.

“Whilst many businesses and sectors have been recognised and helped by the government throughout the pandemic, the night-time economy is one of the areas that clearly needs further support,” he said.

“Not only is it a vital piece in the jigsaw of our local economy and tourist sector but it contributes to the offerings for our young people, students and vibrant and dynamic communities.”

He said he, along with council leader Drew Mellor and MPs had been “pushing” the government to recognise the “challenges” facing the sector but would also be providing funding through grants it has received.

“We are keen that those businesses who have not yet received help and support – and are in dire need – are at the top of the list,” he added. “We’re enlisting the help of the Dorset Growth Hub and Dorset Chamber to help us identify the most in need.”

He said details of the help the council can provide will be “firmed up” in the coming week.