Arches Takes Legal Advice

The Arches is taking legal advice on appealing Glasgow Licensing Board's decision to cut back the licensed hours of the venue due to concerns over drug use.

Bosses say the decision to make them close at midnight instead of 3am would close its club and have a devastating effect on its future as a cultural centre.

The move follows a meeting on of its Board of Directors to review all possible options for the future of the acclaimed city centre venue.

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, and are now taking legal advice.

"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, 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 now 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 cafe bar and restaurant.

Turnover from club activity, including bar sales, accounts for 51% of group turnover.

The Arches currently employs 133 people, plus freelance workers.

This week's scheduled events go ahead as planned.

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