It was the news no one wanted to hear and certainly didn't expect, but earlier this afternoon The Arches announced that it would be going into administration.
The restrictions put in place by the Glasgow Licensing Board last month have effectively suffocated the venue putting it out of business and leading to the needless and likely loss of 133 jobs. There is no exaggerating the impact this will have on the economic and cultural scene in Glasgow, and you have to wonder if the authorities have fully acknowledged the implications of last month's decision.
It has also emerged that an open letter to save The Arches which was sent to Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish minister for Culture, has not even been responded to. It was signed by over 400 leading cultural voices including Irvine Welsh, Optimo and the Numbers collective.
Alan Miller, a former resident at The Arches and press officer who spearheaded the letter had this to say via his Facebook account: "I can only express astonishment at the level of cultural vandalism and political myopia that has been demonstrated, and underline my disappointment, on behalf of the signatories of this letter - and laterally that of the 40,000 plus signed up to the petition - that this significant and urgent cultural issue was not something that our own Minister of Culture could find time to address."
On The Arches going into administration, Mark Anderson, Executive Director at the venue said: “Changes to club event door policy, recommended by Police Scotland in early 2014, resulted in a major downturn in related income and a significant overall trading deficit for the year. With the Licensing Board decision effectively cutting off our main source of income, and serious uncertainty around the outcome of an appeal hearing, particularly given the clear view of Police Scotland, we have regrettably found ourselves with no ability to continue trading as a going concern.”
“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.
”We would like to gratefully acknowledge the invaluable contributions made by all staff, board, artists and partners over the years, and offer heartfelt thanks to our loyal customers who supported us throughout the years and were instrumental in making The Arches the iconic venue that it will always remain.”
All events scheduled at the Arches from 10 June 2015 are now cancelled.