The wider effect of a nightclub closure is well established, especially by the first half of this very article. But what do the owners of Fabric actually have to do now?
At this point, they are appealing the verdict, meaning they are most likely intending to keep it in its current state. But this will not be feasible for long. Fabric’s fashionable Farringdon location will no doubt come with a high price tag. With Fabric closed and unable to make money, its owners will struggle to pay all manner of maintenance costs, from rent to business rates.
London business rates are predicted to rise massively in the coming months for businesses across all sectors, but bars and nightclubs in particular have been hit by exorbitant fees of many kinds. During the appeal process, Fabric’s owners will find themselves being charged for running a business, despite the fact that they are legally prohibited from doing so. Since a lot of the money local councils make comes from business rates, this will mean paying Islington Council simply for the right to appeal against their decision.
One way around this would be to close the business completely and stop renting the property. However, as in the case of Manchester’s legendary Haçienda, the property would almost be snapped up by developers, demolished and rebuilt as flats—perhaps even advertised with a slogan as patronising as the one used to advertise the Haçienda Apartments: “Now the party’s over, you can come home.”
If the appeal takes too long, it may well be too late to #savefabric. And if the UK’s nightlife sector continues to shrink with a growth rate of -7.8% and clubs keep closing, London’s soon-to-be-appointed Night Czar is going to find themselves with a lot of time on their hands…