AN AMBITIOUS bid has been launched to give a new lease of life to theatre and cutting-edge art and performances staged by defunct venue The Arches.
The Glasgow arts centre and club has shut down after its revenue-generating nightclub closed following police concerns over alleged drug use.
Creative Scotland is in talks with artistic staff and is confident a deal can be struck before the end of the month that would allow them to continue to stage its ground-breaking theatre, dance and live art work elsewhere.
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A spokeswoman for the arts funding body said that it is “still working hard, along with others, to see how the Arches’ cultural programmes and activity can continue”.
She added: “Interested parties including Creative Scotland and Glasgow Life are working together to explore all possible avenues that will enable the continuation of The Arches’ cultural programmes and activity.”
The arts venue, whose cultural activities were financially supported by its popular club nights, closed in June.
The venue beneath Glasgow Central Station was shut after Glasgow Licensing Board removed the licence to run its clubs, following attempts to remove its licence by Police Scotland.
However Creative Scotland, which had given the venue a three-year funding deal, is attempting to keep the artistic side of the Arches programme on the stage.
It provided £451,000 for 2015/16, and would like to see the money used to realise artistic projects. The venue is currently boarded up
New documents show that staff at Creative Scotland were angered by the closure of the venue
A request for documents that mention Police Scotland and The Arches under the Freedom of Information legislation returned several email and internal documents discussing the fate of the arts centre and club.
One in particular demonstrated frustration and anger at how the arts centre had been forced to close.
It was sent on June 10, from a member of Creative Scotland staff to its head of communications, Kenneth Fowler.
It says: “A sad day. I hope Police Scotland, the Glasgow Licensing Board and indeed Glasgow Life are happy.”
Jackie Wylie, artistic director of The Arches, confirmed she is “involved in exploring options for the arts programme”.
In June, it emerged that Police Scotland had in 2014 suggested an unusual new music policy for its clubbing operation.
Following the death of Regan MacColl, 17, who died after attending the club and taking drugs in early 2014, the police asked the management to stop its club music every hour for five minutes and bring up its house lights.
The request was rejected by the venue, as was paying for extra police officers to police the site.