THE announcement that the BCP conurbation will go into tier two measures after lockdown is lifted next week has been branded ‘a catastrophe’ by night-time economy leaders.

And they say it is now ‘absolutely imperative’ that BCP Council puts the sector at the front of the queue when distributing £9.6m in discretionary grants it has just received from the government.

Ty Temel, spokesman for The Guest List, the newly-formed night-time economy campaign and lobby group said: “The new tier two arrangements are an absolute disaster, the worst of all worlds from our point of view.

“BCP Council must act fairly, transparently and quickly to save one of the most important contributors to the local economy. They have received a huge amount of money from the government and as it is discretionary, the council can decide how it is distributed. It must act quicky and transparently. The night-time economy and events sector has had virtually no help certainly compared with other parts of the economy, but have been among the worst affected.

“As we warned two weeks ago, the night-time economy and events sector as a whole remain on the brink of collapse with the potential for dozens of business to close and hundreds of jobs to be lost.”

It is understood the latest grant to BCP Council is nearly twice that given in the last discretionary bail out in the summer, around £4.3m.

Alan Dove, another founder of The Guest List added: “The collapse of the night-time economy will also have severe safety and social consequences as well as economic ones.

“The money that BCP Council now has at its disposal can make a huge difference to the survival of the sector, but the council must act now.”