Former workers at one of Glasgow’s most iconic music venues have submitted a comprehensive 27-page business plan to re-establish the 13th Note. 

The venue, which closed last July, is an important cultural space for the people of Glasgow to enjoy live music, art and sustainably sourced vegan food.  

The establishment is credited for helping launch the careers of Scottish bands and artists, including Paulo Nutini, Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai, and Belle & Sebastian. 

The group now proposing to take over, the 13th Note Collective, won an employment tribunal nine months after its closure. Now, they have formally submitted the plan, which focuses on key areas which they say, ‘set their bid apart from any other’. 

Brendan Armstrong, 13th Note worker, said: “With the incredible support of thousands of punters, artists and workers, we know that this venue will be a huge success, but only if it is owned and operated by the people who know the sector best - the workers.” 

“It’s now over to City Property and Glasgow City Council to determine what kind of hospitality sector they want in this city - one that nurtures local talent and sets an important standard for worker rights or one that gives hospitality businesses carte blanche to extract maximum profit from workers and customers with no care for quality or service.”  


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13th Note workers on strike (Image: Newsquest) The workers at the bar became the first hospitality workforce in the country to take strike action in 20 years, when they staged a walkout in 2023, the union claimed.

The initial dispute started due to workers represented by Unite saying the owners had failed to deal with concerns over pay and health and safety.

Issues raised by the workers included zero hour contracts, which offer little stability and see hours fluctuate week to week; staff under 23 and under 21 being paid lower rates for the same work; and kitchen staff being expected to work 12 hour shifts. 

The claims were denied as being "categorically untrue" by the 13th Note’s owner, Jacqueline Fennessy.

Then three days later in July 2023, the venue suddenly closed with staff being made redundant.

On the day the redundancies were announced, the owner of 13th Note was due to meet with Unite reps at the conciliation service ACAS to discuss a positive resolution to the dispute. However, workers  were eventually compensated after winning an employment tribunal.

Now, under the group's proposal, workers would have control and operation of the 13th Note, meaning that they determine their own pay and conditions while investing profits in venue and community outreach programs.  

They hope to re-establish it as a space for live music and culture for burgeoning artists from across the city, while providing sustainably sourced local produce to make the best quality vegan food and drink available to customers.  

Nick Troy, 13th Note worker, said: “We have outlined a comprehensive plan to redevelop the 13th Note as a multi-purpose social and cultural centre that serves the people of Glasgow by providing high-quality food, drink, and live music and reinvesting profits in community outreach and the sustainability of the venue. 

“We believe that the workers’ cooperative model - in which the workplace will be run democratically by frontline staff - is the best avenue for the 13th Note.  Community spaces should be controlled by members of that community, rather than absent owners who fail to recognise the significance of the facility. 

“No other option has the level of public support we have already amassed. It’s now over to the landlord to make the right decision.” 

The 13th Note Collective would also hope to utilise the previously untapped potential of the venue’s most unique elements, such as making the recording studio available to up-and-coming artists.