THE owner of a popular Bradford nightclub has said he has “mixed feelings” after Boris Johnson announced yesterday a four-week delay to the end of social distancing rules.

Nigel Booth, who runs The Underground, said while he understands the reasoning behind the delay of Step 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown from June 21 to July 19, he was concerned about the impact it will have on nightlife in Bradford.

The Duke Street-based club has been open since May as a socially distanced bar at one-third capacity, and on Saturday hosts Bradford Pride, which sold out in less than five minutes.

He has had to cancel a number of planned events such as a Northern Soul and an RnB night and a band's homecoming.

He said: "I know in some respects it's probably the best thing, but I also feel like we are being penalised when you compare nightlife to other settings.

"It's another month of not being able to pay your bills, and the Government grants don't keep up with your outlay. We're open now but we're haemorrhaging money.

"We're bounce back as a venue but me worry is the long-term impact on the city, it feel like another nail in Bradford's coffin.

“It’s not easy and we will lose even more money but we will be back, it’s the city as a whole that worries me.

“I was in Leeds at the weekend and it was bustling, and back in Bradford the city centre was empty, it was really sad.

"It has to be July 19, and I think Boris Johnson knows it. We have to look at the bigger picture and while I don't fully agree with it, I accept it's what we have to do for now."

Yesterday, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that Step 4 of the roadmap, which would have seen all social distancing rules come to an end, would be postponed from June 21 to July 19, due to a surge in cases caused by the Delta variant.

The move has caused uproar among Conservative backbenchers furious at the extension of rules, while Labour has slammed the Prime Minister blaming him for the surge in the Delta variant and subsequent extension of lockdown rules.

The four-week extension, it is hoped, will give time for all adults to be offered the Covid-19 vaccine to give maximum levels of protection to people in the UK.