Scotland’s original superclub is shuttering its doors after losing its late night license
Thought London nightlife was in a state? It's not too much better up north. Scottish clubbers are in mourning as legendary Glasgow nightclub The Arches is on the verge of closure. Police Scotland raised fears over "potentially lethal and profound consequences" unless the club's problems with drug misuse and disorder were addressed, reports the Herald.
After hearing the police complaint, the city licensing board ruled to remove its late night license from today onwards. The venue will now only stay open until 12am, putting an effective end to to its club nights.
Mark Anderson, executive director at The Arches, said in a statement: "We’re 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 the loss of a key contributor to Glasgow’s night time economy. Not only is it a bad day for the Arches, but the portents do not look good for the wider licensed trade."
A spokesperson for Glasgow's licensing board told us: "The board heard four hours of submissions from both Police Scotland and the Arches. after careful consideration, they decided that the licensing hours for the arches should vary by moving the closing hour from 3am to 12 midnight."
Police first attempted to permanently shut down the Arches in early April after a female clubber had to be taken to hospital after collapsing outside the club. 26 people were also reported for drugs and alcohol-related offences on the same night.
Licensing chiefs threw out the police closure as "unlawful". But this time, the Arches hasn't been so lucky. While a representative for Police Scotland stressed that the change in licensing hours does not signal the closure of the venue per se, it's pretty much a nail in the coffin for the Arches as a nightclub.
Glasgow police chief inspector Mark Sutherland said today that Police Scotland recognised the decision of the licensing board, adding: "[We] will continue to work in partnership with all responsible licence holders and Designated Premises Managers across Scotland. We strive to ensure licensed premises maintain a safe environment, free from violence, disorder, drug taking and excessive levels of drunkenness – all of which can endanger people."
Billed as "Scotland’s original superclub", the Arches played host to huge international DJs like Laidback Luke and Jeff Mills, while also supporting local Scots talent like Hudson Mohawke, Eclair Fifi and the rest of the LuckyMe crew.
Angry punters have taken to social media to register their disbelief at the closure, with many pointing out that shutting down one club doesn't make a dent in the city's drug problem:
i cannot stress enough, closing the arches is not going to remedy any of the issues glasgow has with drug abuse.— aoife-grace moore. (@aoifegracemoore) May 15, 2015
Good idea to close the arches as there are zero drugs in every other pub/club in glasgow, aw wait— Paul McGurran (@paulmcgurran) May 15, 2015
Bad, bad news for the nightlife scene in Glasgow. They take the arches away, they'll come for any of the other venues next.— Connor (@CNZ_909) May 15, 2015
Absolute shocker about the Arches. Where to even start? This is really bad for Glasgow.— Kieran Hurley (@kieran_hurley) May 15, 2015
Did you go to the Arches? What do you think the closure? Let us know in the comments below.