Nightclub forced to throw away £7,000 of stock after 'Freedom Day' delay

A nightclub owner has had to throw away more than £7,000 worth of stock after the latest Government easing of restrictions was moved back.

The stock in the tip
The stock in the tip

Michael Ansell, owner of Planet Nightclub in Wolverhampton, posted images online showing hundreds of bottles in a skip.

He has said he will write to MP Stuart Anderson for help after the Prime Minister said that the roadmap easing earmarked for June 21 will be delayed for four weeks to July 19.

The delay means nightclubs like Planet have to stay closed, while strict limits remain in venues like pubs and cinemas, yet the Government is not offering further support to affected businesses.

Mr Ansell, who has taken out nearly £150,000 in bank loans, said: "Most of the stock was going to go out of date at the end of the month.

"If the delay had been two weeks I might have had to get rid of half.

"I think everybody is in the same boat.

Michael Ansell outside his Planet Nightclub

"I was waiting for the announcement before I made a beer order as I don't want stuff that's only going to last a few weeks.

"It would be more wasted money.

"I'm a bit gutted for my staff as we started to interview and we offered jobs.

"I'm in the middle of writing an email to MP Stuart Anderson to ask him will there be additional help for the nightclub sector, I've started paying back the first loan, it's stressful and disappointing as I can't open.

"Will there be details of what restrictions will be in place? There's lots of things I need to do. Such as for Legionnaires Disease we have to run the taps for 20 minutes, and is there going to be screen to put up to protect staff against customers and vice versa.

The stock in the tip

"I don't want to commit to spending more money if it might not happen as money is tight.

"I've had £47,000 from the Government and £145,000 in bank loans.

"It's absolutely horrible, the situation we've been put in."

Something “unprecedented and remarkable” would need to happen for the July 19 “terminus date” for lifting Covid restrictions to be pushed back, Michael Gove has said.

The Cabinet Office Minister said he shares Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s confidence that July 19 will see the final easing of lockdown measures, with the four-week delay announced on Monday buying more time for people to receive vaccinations.

Meanwhile pub bosses have warned that the four-week delay to lifting coronavirus restrictions will cost the sector £400 million.

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