CCA to remain closed during September

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Credit: Creative Commons

Isabel Thomas
News Editor

The CCA has been forced to cancel events planned in September, awaiting news of its reopening.

Since the Glasgow School of Art fire in June the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) on Sauchiehall Street has been closed. The CCA will remain closed for the rest of September and is still waiting to hear from Glasgow City Council when it can officially reopen, leaving the future of the centre uncertain.

The CCA originally believed that the centre would be allowed to reopen on September 14. However, earlier this week staff were informed by Glasgow City Council that, although the risk to the building has not changed, they are waiting on inspection reports from structural engineers and cannot allow access.

As a result, the CCA has been forced to cancel all events throughout September. Stating on their website: “This week, we received the disappointing news from the Council that the risk to the CCA building from Glasgow School of Art has not changed significantly since the fire and we will not be granted access at this time. We have not been given any indication of a new date, and, without that, are unable to make plans forreopening.”

CCA director Francis Mckee has expressed frustration regarding the lack of communication from Glasgow City Council. Speaking to Glasgow Live he said, “It’s basically an indefinite closure with no schedule and no dates. That’s a problem for our insurers for example. The cafe desperately need a date for re-entry for our insurers, for them to continue to support them. We don’t have that.”

Francis stated that the lack of income has left he CCA on a financial “knife edge”. Although the centre has received financial support from Creative Scotland, it is still waiting to receive money from the Scottish Government’s £5 million fund created in July to help support businesses effected by the fire.

This issue was raised by Pauline McNeill, Labour MSP, at First Minister’s Questions. McNeill asked Nicola Sturgeon to ensure that the CCA received the £20,000 hardship fund it has applied for but not yet received. She also requested that Sturgeon meet with effected businesses to ensure the funds are paid.

In response Sturgeon said that: “This is a very important issue for Glasgow and Scotland. I considered it was right to set up the fund for businesses most affected by the School of Art fire and the earlier fire.” She stated that the reason the CCA has not received the funds is because it receives public funding as an arts organization which has meant that more time has been needed to process their funding application.