The BID Foundation (TBF) has informed the Home Office that it does not support any future expansion of the late night levy, the discretionary power enabling licensing authorities in England and Wales to collect financial contributions from businesses that sell alcohol at night.
Under new government proposals, the levy, which is designed to fund safe and secure high streets, would expand to incorporate premises that sell hot food and drink. TBF responded to these plans as part of a consultation that closed today (4th April 2023).
At a BID Leadership Network meeting in Bristol in early February, TBF members discussed the late night levy and its role in supporting vital and viable night time economies. There was a clear consensus that the levy was fundamentally flawed, despite the need for action to ensure that businesses, customers and communities feel safe when visiting high streets at night.
TBF’s stated objections to the levy include:
Matthew Davis, Director of Membership for the Institute of Place Management, said:
“Proposals to extend the late night levy are not in step with a range of government measures – on business stimulus, rates relief, and the range of hugely welcomed place-based investment since 2019.”
“Only 9 local authorities have employed the levy to date and there is very little data on the effectiveness of the spending it provides for. We are concerned about future funds going into anonymous local pots and would welcome a discussion on a range of options to properly fund and provide for safer streets.”
The government will publish a 'response to consultation 'document on GOV.UK, summarising all responses including that of The BID Foundation.
A number of BIDs have been communicating with their levy payers about this consultation to ensure that engagement on the policy is as broad as possible.
If you have any questions about The BID Foundation’s view on the late night levy, or would like to share your perspective and views, please contact IPM@mmu.ac.uk