Glasgow arts venue The Arches has appointed administrators and all scheduled events from 10 June 2015 have been cancelled.
The move follows last month’s decision by the Glasgow Licensing Board to curtail the licensed hours of the venue on the advice of Police Scotland. The venue’s business model relies heavily on income generated by a programme of club nights, which generate over 50% of the company’s annual turnover.
Gordon Kennedy, chairman of The Arches board, said: “The board has taken professional advice and is left with no other choice than to begin the process of appointing administrators for both The Arches Theatre Ltd and Arches Retail Ltd.
“This decision has been taken with deep regret as it will have a major impact on our staff, business partners, customers, and on Glasgow’s reputation for night-time economy. Our hope is that the administrators, working with partners and stakeholders, can salvage some of the activities for which The Arches is renowned.”
He added: “We were disappointed and surprised at the outcome of the Licensing Board. The Arches has a zero tolerance approach to drugs and has cooperated with the Police over many years.”
A petition set up last month calling for the venue’s licence to be reinstated has attracted nearly 40,000 supporters.
Key arts venue
The Arches is a key venue in Glasgow’s gig, club, theatre and experimental dance scenes, with strong links to the city’s thriving visual arts community. In 2010, its atmospheric performance spaces in the arches under Central Station hosted a 13-hour performance by Linder Sterling, The Darktown Cakewalk, commissioned by Glasgow International.
“The Arches has its roots in the 1990 City of Culture,” said Kennedy, “and has since been recognised as one of the UK and Europe’s leading music venues, an internationally renowned arts and creative learning hub… It is one of Glasgow’s iconic venues.
“The Arches as a multi-use space depends heavily on income from nightclub events. Given that the Licensing Board’s decision effectively prohibits this part of the business, it has become clear to us that The Arches in its current form is no longer viable.”
The venue has been in discussions with Creative Scotland and Glasgow City Council to explore funding the venue, but no agreement has been possible.
Lucy Mason, artistic director for The Arches, said: “The atmosphere and architecture of The Arches have helped to shape and define a generation of enquiring and vital artists. It’s shocking that this building which has inspired such creativity, devotion and ambition, should cease to exist as an arts venue.”