The Board of Directors for The Arches met last night (Monday May 18) to review all possible options for the future of the acclaimed city centre venue.
Glasgow Licensing Board’s decision to curtail the licensed hours of the venue, thus precluding essential club activity, will have a devastating effect on the future of the venue.
The board is now taking legal advice on appealing the decision. Meanwhile this week’s scheduled events go ahead as planned.
Mark Anderson, Executive Director, said: “We are still stunned by Friday’s decision and at a loss to understand just what more we could have done to provide a safer clubbing environment at The Arches. Over the period under review, we welcomed over 250,000 clubbers through our doors. Of that number, just 0.14% were reported for misuse of drugs incidents.
“What is more worrying is that despite the increased safety measures we adopted on the recommendation of Police Scotland, which had already alienated many of our valued club customers, our successful operation of those policies has resulted in the statistics being used against us.”
The Executive and Artistic Directors of The Arches cultural venue will meet this week with funding partners Creative Scotland and Glasgow Life to discuss potential ways forward.
Lucy Mason, Artistic Director, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the humbling and heartening support for The Arches and would like to thank everyone for being so passionate and articulate on our behalf. It is impossible to imagine the cultural landscape with The Arches wiped of the map, a situation which is entirely possible given the interdependency of the Arts and Club activity within our organisation.”
The Arches Theatre’s annual turnover of £3.8m is made up of only 15% of public subsidy, with the balance of 85% self-generated through the commercial events programme, corporate hires and income from the café bar and restaurant.
Turnover from club activity, including bar sales, accounts for 51% of group turnover.
The Arches currently employs 133 people. Beyond this, the venue indirectly employs scores of freelance workers in the production of events, from designers to production managers, technicians to door stewards, and artist and musician entourages.
This week’s scheduled events will go ahead at The Arches as planned:
The following event has been moved to SWG3:
Sat 23rd May: [CLUB] Last Night On Earth: Sasha
The Arches Café Bar and Restaurant is open as usual.
The Arches was founded in 1991 as a direct result of Glasgow being named European Capital of Culture 1990. Since injecting life into the Victorian archways under Central Station almost 25 years ago, the organisation has grown to become an internationally renowned multi-arts venue, providing a year-round programme of performance, creative learning, live music and club nights.
It is a not-for-profit registered Scottish Charity. All profits from commercial trading, including club activity, are donated annually to The Arches Theatre company.
In 2013/14, The Arches supported 146 emergent performance makers to produce new work, as well as staging or supporting 43 brand new performances. During that period The Arches also welcomed 148 international artists presenting theatre and live music from countries including Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Nigeria, Kenya, Syria, Spain and the USA, and toured three Arches-produced theatre shows internationally, reaching audiences in Canada, Brazil, USA, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Sydney.
Last year, The Arches was a key participant in Glasgow’s Culture 2014 programme, putting on 13 events celebrating women in sport, disability in sport and investigating race and LGBT issues in Commonwealth nations.
The Licensing Board’s decision comes at the end of the sixth annual Behaviour Festival, which saw 9022 people experience the celebration of live performance across over 30 events – not only on-site, but across Glasgow at venues including Botanic Gardens, Ruchill Park, CCA and Citizens Theatre.
The Arches is perennially voted one of the Top 100 Clubs in the world by DJ Magazine. The live music and clubs programme are celebrated and key to Glasgow’s status as a UNESCO city of music. Internationally renowned names- including SLAM, Felix Da Housecat, CHVRCHES, Boiler Room, Aidan Moffat and Arches patron Carl Cox- have lent their support for the venue.
The Arches has become a benchmark for operational excellence and customer care. Through six consecutive years- 2008-2013- The Arches has been awarded Overall Gold in the Specialist Entertainment Category at the Best Bar None Awards, sponsored by Diageo and established in consultation with the government and alcohol industry at a national level.