Glasgow nightlife hotspot The Arches has gone into administration after 25 years in business.
The move follows last month’s decision by the Glasgow Licensing Board to curtail the licensed hours of the multi-arts venue due to a number of police complaints about drug and alcohol incidents, effectively preventing the organisation from continuing its successful and popular programme of club nights.
Having taken legal advice, The Arches Board of Directors began the process of appointing administrators for both Arches Theatre and Arches Retail Company Limited yesterday (10 June 2015).
Without the income generated by its club nights, which generated over 50% of the companies’ annual turnover, The Arches’ business model has become untenable, a statement read. The venue previously held a 3am licence, and was faced with the prospect of having to shut its doors at midnight.
An online petition opposing the action was signed by almost 40,000 people, but was unable to prevent the process from going ahead.
“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," said Gordon Kennedy, Chairman of The Arches Board of Directors. “Our hope is that the administrators, working with partners and stakeholders, can salvage some of the activities for which The Arches is renowned.
“The Board sincerely thanks our staff, customers, supporters, performers and partners for their support over the years. This is a very sad day for The Arches and for the city of Glasgow.”
“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.
“We are very grateful to the almost 40,000 people who have signed and shared the petition to re-instate our licence and to everyone who has joined the #savethearches social media campaign. We are humbled by the hundreds of artists and industry professionals from all disciplines who have lent their signature and their voice to the cause.
“The Arches has its roots in the 1990 City of Culture and has since been recognised as one of the UK and Europe’s leading music venues, an internationally renowned arts and creative learning hub, and a venue for major corporate events such as last year’s MTV European Music Awards after party. It is one of Glasgow’s iconic venues."
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.
“The Arches has developed an international reputation as a producer and programmer of distinctive performance, providing opportunities for artists at all stages of their career to experiment and hone their practice. Without The Arches, the radical energy at the heart of Scotland’s theatre-making community will be greatly diminished, and the future for many individual artists suddenly feels very uncertain.”
All planned future events scheduled at The Arches have been cancelled.
Additional source: BBC