'The Stage' reports that Smoking Ban is closing 100 CIU clubs a year
More commonly known as 'working mens' clubs', the Club and Institute Union clubs (if you've never been in one) traditionally provided cheap beer and a cheap night out with an 'act' or two. There's a good deal of snobbishness about 'club acts', but for every comedian, singer or combo that makes it to the small screen there are scores working the club circuits. They are a critical source of employment for the UK entertainment industry and a seedbed of talent, the best of which filters through to bigger and better things.
'The Stage', the journal for the nation's luvvies, reports that the smoking ban is not only closing 100 clubs a year, but revenues are so reduced that the Ents budgets are the first to be cut and acts are not being hired. A survey has reported that revenues are down more than 7% since the smoking ban.
The clubs are concentrated in the traditionally Labour voting areas of the north of England.