Council responds to evening and night-time economy call for evidence

Published on 9th February 2021

collection of beer bottles

Cheltenham Borough Council has submitted its response to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the night-time economy’s inquiry into the impact of Covid-19 on the nightlife sector in the UK.

This reflects the desire of the council to play a proactive role in engaging central Government on issues affecting the recovery of the town’s licensed trade, which is worth millions of pounds to the local economy.

Prior to Covid-19, Cheltenham successfully developed and maintained a thriving evening and night-time economy, the largest night life scene between Bristol and Birmingham, and bigger than many other towns similar in size to Cheltenham. This was largely the result of the broad appeal of the night–time offer and the town’s reputation as a good and safe night out, confirmed by Cheltenham’s status as a Purple Flag town since 2016.

In the response addressing the effect of Covid-19 on Cheltenham’s ENTE, Councillor David Willingham, chair of Cheltenham Borough Council’s licensing committee and Cheltenham’s evening and night time economy (ENTE) champion said: “Cheltenham has successfully maintained a thriving and award winning ENTE. Whilst, like other towns, it has severely suffered as a consequence of the Covid-19 restrictions, indications are that it has fared much better than other places.

“Delivering a successful post-Covid economic recovery is of vital importance to our town, and we will use every opportunity available to encourage regulatory changes and financial support to help businesses across our town.”

Recognising that the Covid-19 restrictions on licensed business also had a wider economic impact, the response also calls on the Government to consider reviewing or relaxing regulations, providing support and advice on re-opening, and supporting ENTE services, including transport and small to medium enterprises in the supply-chain to the sector.

The council’s continued proactive approach has been recognised by the Institute of Licensing and the Local Government Association as best practice for supporting business recovery efforts.

The response to the APPG can be downloaded in full at

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Cheltenham’s ENTE was the first recipient of a new ACTM Purple Flag award recognising its appeal as one of the best and safest nights out in the country.

Cheltenham Borough Council published a comprehensive ENTE Strategy in 2019. Early in 2020, this authority became the first to publish a Licensing and ENTE Recovery Strategy recognising the important role and contribution made by the ENTE sector and the need to be proactive and pragmatic when considering recovery options and support.