Legendary Glasgow venue The Arches has gone into administration and is set to close

The revocation of its nightclub license meant that the venue lost around half of its income

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The Independent Online

Legendary Glasgow nightclub The Arches has gone into administration and is unlikely to open again, despite a massive campaign to save it.

The famous club had a number of uses, mostly as an arts venue and nightclub. However, the licensing board of Glasgow City Council revoked its club night licence on 15 May, citing police concerns about drug use.

The Arches was previously licensed to stay open until 3AM - the revocation meant it was forced to close at midnight.

According to Glasgow's Evening Times, the club night provided around half of the venue's income, with the rest of the money coming from its other uses as an all-purpose arts venue.

Due to the loss of this major income stream, the venue's board of directors yesterday decided to appoint administrators after receiving legal advice.

Chairman Gordon Kennedy said: "The 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 renowed."

He went on to thank the large numbers of customers and artists that had come to The Arches over the years, and also praised the social media campaign to save the club.

A petition, which encouraged the council to re-instate the license and "allow the venue to continue to make such a vital contribution to Glasgow's cultural life" has gained almost 40,000 signatures in four weeks, and was followed by an extensive social media campaign revolving around the #savethearches hashtag.

An open letter from Scottish arts luminaries was also addressed to the council's licensing board, and included signatures from members of internationally famous groups such as Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai and Belle & Sebastian.

Irvine Welsh, author of classic Edinburgh novel Trainspotting, as well as hundreds of actors and theatre managers from Glasgow and other parts of Scotland also put their names to the letter.

Police had long expressed concern over the use of drugs at the venue, and issued a closure notice earlier this year, in response to a string of incidents on 29 March, where 26 people were reported for drugs and alcohol-related events in a single night. The closure notice was deemed unlawful, and never came into effect.

The tragic death of 17-year-old Regane McColl in February, who died in the city's Royal Infirmary after taking a contaminated ecstasy pill at the club that left four other consumers in hospital, also increased the pressure on the club from authorities.

Gordon Kennedy said that The Arches had a zero-tolerance policy to drugs, and had won six police awards in previous years for its co-operation with authorities and its drugs policy. However, many drug-using customers managed to slip through the cracks.

Some claim that The Arches' strong anti-drugs policy may have been its downfall - their efforts to report troublesome customers to police, rather than just throwing them out like many other clubs, may have given a disproportionate impression of the levels of disorder at the venue.

Lucy Mason, Artistic Director at The Arches, said: "Not only will the local economy suffer through the loss of a unique and important venue for clubbing, live music, and corporate hospitality to the city's valuable conference and event business, but Glasgow's reputation as a vibrant and progressive city of European culture suffers with it."

"Everyone connected to The Arches feels an overwhelming sense of injustice, but we can hold our heads high and be immensely proud of the lasting legacy we undoubtedly leave."

All events scheduled from 10 June at the venue have now been cancelled.

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