The Arches: Scottish government will seek to help


The Scottish government has said it will examine what it can do to help safeguard the future of Glasgow's troubled Arches arts venue.

The Arches announced on Wednesday that it had gone into administration.

Management said they had been left with no choice after a midnight closing time was imposed on its nightclub by the city's licensing board.

The restriction followed police complaints about drug abuse and disorder.

It was said to have cut total revenues at the Arches by more than 50%, making it untenable as a business.

Sandra White, the SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, raised the plight of the venue at First Minister's Questions in the Scottish Parliament, where Deputy First Minister John Swinney was standing in for Nicola Sturgeon during her trip to the US.

Ms White said 130 jobs had been put at risk by the Arches going into administration.

She added: "Aside from the fact that the Arches is one of Glasgow's most cultural venues, this is obviously a very worrying time for the staff facing redundancy.

"Can the deputy first minister assure those affected that the Scottish Government will offer all the support that it can?"

Image caption,
Sandra White, SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, said she welcomed the support for the Arches

Mr Swinney replied: "Creative Scotland is working hard with the organisation and with other partners to explore options regarding the future of arts programming of this nature in Glasgow.

"Creative Scotland agreed with Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council to bring forward some of this year's support for the Arches - £92,000 from Creative Scotland and £37,000 from Glasgow City Council - to assist with the delivery of the current arts programme in the short-term.

"I reassure Sandra White that we will look in all ways that we possibly can do to assist in safeguarding the future of what I recognise as a significant cultural venue in the city of Glasgow and a venue that contributes a great deal to the cultural life of Scotland."

Ms White said she was now calling on Glasgow City Council, Police Scotland and the management of the Arches to get round the table and "see what can be done to either reverse the closure or see what can be done to reopen the doors as soon as possible".

The Scottish government has also said staff potentially affected the Arches going into administration would be supported through the Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (Pace) initiative.

The Arches has received £11.2m of public funding, including £3.8m of capital funding, through Creative Scotland and previously the Scottish Arts Council over the past 20 years.