Glasgow venue facing certain closure after council cuts opening hours

Nightclub and live music venue will not be able to stay open past 12am

The Arches in Glasgow is facing closure after the local council restricted the venue’s license after midnight.

This decision means that the nightclub will not be able to host late night events, a major source of its income, and officials have said total closure is “likely”. Herald Scotland reports that the move came after complaints made against the venue by Police Scotland, who claim there are “potentially lethal and profound consequences” unless the venue’s owners tackle instances of drug misuse on their premises.

However, lawyers working on behalf of the venue argue that the majority of the police complaints came after staff at the venue alerted authorities to drug use in the club and that their vigilance is being punished.

Mark Anderson, executive director, said: “We are obviously very disappointed with today’s outcome. We will now have to consider our options but the impact of this decision may well result in the closure of one of Europe’s most highly regarded arts venues and a key contributor to Glasgow’s night time economy.

“It’s not only a bad day for the Arches but the portents don’t look look good for the wider licensed trade.”

At yesterday’s licensing board meeting Police Scotland claimed the venue’s “robust drugs search policy” was “not sufficient deterrent to patrons attending the premises in possession of drugs”.

Police solicitor Duncan Campbell said: “It cannot be stressed enough the potentially lethal consequences that may arise from this situation should these matters not be addressed.

“By far these premises pose the greatest concern to Glasgow Division and the biggest drain on police resources. Due to the culture of drug misuse associated with the premises, the licence holder is unable to operate the premises in a suitable manner.

“The requirement to provide such regular attendance to the premises was indicated by the Scottish Ambulance Service as being a significant drain on their resources.”

The Arches narrowly avoided closure in April following a police raid. The club was shut down on March 28 when 26 drug and alcohol-related incidents were recorded by police, and a woman was found unconscious at the venue.