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Press Release

Interactive map plots evolution of London’s nightlife over a decade

  • Resident Advisor clubbing data used to show the number and pattern of venue closures between 2005-2015
  • Nesta considers how closures have changed London’s night time economy
  • Hoxton and Shoreditch outstrip the West End as London’s clubbing hotspots today

Innovation foundation Nesta has today launched an interactive map plotting a decade of the city’s clubbing scene for the first time. Using data from Resident Advisor (RA), the leading online electronic music listing site, magazine and community, it shows clubbing venues that are open across the city and highlights venue closures between 2005 and 2015.

The map reveals that during this 10 year period, parts of London traditionally known for their nightlife experienced high levels of closures, with a trend of clubbing moving to the east and north of the city. The most substantial numbers of these closures were seen in Holborn and Covent Garden (60 per cent of venues open between 2005-2015 are now closed), the West End (61 per cent) and the City of London (58 per cent).

By contrast, the share of closures in Dalston is smaller at just 11 per cent - as such, the ward(1) with the highest number of clubs open today is Hoxton East and Shoreditch (56 venues). This trend is considered to be due to the lower property prices in east London (relative to the West End), the growth of the creative community in the area and the improvements in its connectivity brought about by the East London line extension of 2010-11.

A vibrant night time economy has long been held as critical for a city's creativity and innovation, and there has been concern that closures of London's clubs may therefore threaten the city’s cultural reputation and creative economy(2).

In light of estimates that the city’s night-time economy contributes some £17-£26 billion to the UK economy(3), and following the appointment of the first ever Night Czar, the map’s findings aim to contribute to wider public debate on the diversity of the sector, the health of the night-time economy in city centres and its connection to the creative industries.

John Davies, Economic Research Fellow, Creative and Digital Economy at Nesta said: In the context of the debate around London nightlife the map shows how the location of the city’s clubbing venues has changed and highlights areas that have experienced high closure levels. For local authorities and policymakers it raises questions about the future sustainability of culture in city centres, and its connection to the wider creative sector.”

Resident Advisor said: “The map shows what most people in London nightlife have long suspected: that overall the capital’s venues are moving away from inner London. As the debate surrounding London’s nightlife culture begins to gain momentum, research like this should prove invaluable in shaping the discourse, as we hopefully move towards a broader consensus that something needs to be done to safeguard electronic music culture in London.”

Amy Lamé, Night Czar, commented“We welcome Nesta’s map, which shines a light on the clubbing scene in London. From Soho to Shoreditch and Vauxhall to Islington, clubbing across the capital is an essential part of the city’s night time economy.  Club owners tell me time and time again that rising rents and business rates, as well as noise complaints, are having a huge impact on their venues.

“As Night Czar, I’m bringing people from across the capital together to ensure we do all we can to tackle these issues and to protect our vibrant clubbing scene. The Mayor and I have made it clear that we want London to thrive as a truly global 24-hour city, and there is no doubt that clubbing is a huge part of this.”

John Kampfner, CEO of the Creative Industries Federation said: "The country is benefiting from the booming success of our creative industries. As the Federation raised in its report 'Because the Night', a vibrant and stable night-time economy underpins the success of creative hubs all over the UK. That is why the high rate of club closures in London as highlighted by Nesta is so concerning for the wider creative industries. It is essential that the long-term benefits of having vibrant towns and cities are considered by governments of all levels when making decisions that affect the night-time economy."

The Clubbing Map is available to view at https://nestauk.github.io/clubbingmap/ where areas are mapped according to electoral record wards. The clubbing map is the latest in Nesta’s line of data viz mapping the geography of creativity, following The Museums Map, The Geography of Creativity in the UK, A Map of the UK Games Industry and Interactive data visualisations of the UK’s creative economy.

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For more information contact Anna Zabow in Nesta’s press office on: 020 7438 2616/2543, anna[email protected]

Notes to Editors

A ward is the spatial unit used to elect local government councillors in London boroughs. For information on their spatial boundaries see https://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/ward-profiles-and-atlas

  1. Creative Industries Federation (2017), ‘Because the Night’
  2. London First (2016), ‘The economic value of London’s 24 hour economy
  3. The interactive map is based on Resident Advisor data on club closures between 2005 and 2015 in London. It allows users to see the closures that have occurred over time in the city, and the wards which have experienced a higher share of venue closures. In addition the map has a layer that, as context, shows the growth in London property prices over the period.
  4. The clubbing map was created by John Davies and Antonio Lima of the Creative Economy and Data Analytics team at Nesta. Interviews available on request.
  5. Interviews are also available on request with Caroline Julian, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Creative Industries Federation and co-author of Because the Night, and Eliza Easton, Deputy Head, Research and Policy at Creative Industries Federation and co-author of Because the Night.
  6. Images available upon request.

About Nesta: Nesta is a global innovation foundation. We back new ideas to tackle the big challenges of our time, making use of our knowledge, networks, funding and skills. We work in partnership with others, including governments, businesses and charities. We are a UK charity that works all over the world, supported by a financial endowment. To find out more visit www.nesta.org.uk.

Nesta is a registered charity in England and Wales 1144091 and Scotland SC042833.