Venue should be taken into public ownership is licensing restriction is not lifted
Campaigners are to lobby Glasgow City Council over the closure of the famous Arches arts venue.
They are demanding the authority reverse its decision to limit its licence to 12pm.
This decision was taken after a series of drug related incidents at the venue’s nightclub.
However, its closure has had a knock-on effect on The Arches’ bar and performance space – with the loss of revenue causing it to go into administration and putting 133 jobs on the line.
Campaigners have called for the venue to be taken into public ownership if the licensing decisions cannot be rescinded.
A demo will take place outside a meeting of the city council’s licensing and regulatory committee on Thursday, 18 June at 9am.
The demo’s Facebook page states: “Hands off our arts and culture! The Arches is one of the most important arts venues not just in Glasgow, but also in Scotland and Europe. Despite this, Glasgow Licensing Board and Police Scotland have forced The Arches into administration.
“If this decision is not reversed very soon it will mean the loss of 133 jobs and a venue filled with people and events at the heart of Glasgow's global recognition as a centre for arts and culture.
“We call on Glasgow Council to act immediately to Save The Arches, reopening it with its licensing fully restored. The closure of The Arches raises the very real danger that it fall into the hands of a mainstream commercial concern which would close down the venue's arts provision.
“If The Arches companies cannot be saved, we call for the venue to be taken into public ownership by the Council, as Tramway currently is, in order that it be protected for the public good and its immense cultural significance.”
A spokesman for Glasgow licensing board said: “The board simply could not ignore the evidence presented to it in relation to the Arches.
“Over 200 drug-related incidents, including alleged drug dealing, were detailed at the most recent hearing as well as numerous call-outs to the ambulance service, which often related to people in life threatening situations.
“The evidence presented to the board clearly showed that the continued operation of the Arches’ late-hours licence threatened public safety, created a risk of crime and endangered the health of individuals.
“Unfortunately the conditions the Arches agreed to following the death of one of their customers did not curtail problems at the venue and the board had no option but to take further action.
“The financial situation of a premises can never be a factor in the decision making process of the board. “