DANCERS at one of Glasgow's lap dancing clubs have told of fears their club may close permanently - at a cost of more than 100 jobs - unless officials "take responsibility" to help them back to work.

Seventh Heaven performers have been out of work since March when the coronavirus lockdown hit and have been calling on the Scottish Government to provide a clear route out of lockdown.

They say they can work in a safe, socially distanced way but that the industry is being overlooked - leaving women without their livelihoods.

In July the dancers, who are members of GMB Scotland, told the Glasgow Times how lap dancing clubs were not included in Scottish Government guidance, leaving uncertainly over whether the women could return to work or not.

The clubs have since been listed along with nightclubs, indoor theatres, concert halls and soft play with the government saying they must remain shut.

Glasgow Times: Megara Furie Picture: Colin MearnsMegara Furie Picture: Colin Mearns

Seventh Heaven, along with Glasgow nightclubs, has been granted a liquor licence by Glasgow City Council to allow it to operate as a bar.

But the dancers are still not allowed to perform.

Megara Furie of GMB Scotland said: "These jobs are just as worthy as any other job and the dancers are resilient, creative women.

“It’s the government and not Covid-19 that’s affecting livelihoods in the city’s adult entertainment industry.

"No one seems to want to take responsibility for defining our members’ workplace.

“The indecision or indifference has real consequences for jobs, incomes, and households – dancers, bar staff, security and cleansing workers are all out of work and without urgent clarity Seventh Heaven may be looking at permanent closure.

“It’s one thing for a business to go under due to economic decline but it’s another thing entirely when a viable business, supporting over one hundred jobs, is left to rot because politicians don’t have the appetite or objectiveness to sensibly address the problem.”

Last year performers at Seventh Heaven unionised in response to proposed licensing changes that could have spelled the end for lap dancing clubs in the city.

A consultation was launched to look at licensing the clubs are sexual entertainment venues - with the council able to refuse to grant licences.

A council committee was due to vote on the issue but this has been postponed due to the coronavirus crisis.

Dancers said they could perform stage shows only, maintain two metre distancing and wear masks.

Andrew Cox, owner of Seventh Heaven, previously told the Glasgow Times that his club already met social distancing requirements with table service only, the dancers always distant from customers and low numbers of customers.

But, they say, the government has so far failed to work with them to support their move out of lockdown.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “To prevent transmission of the virus, as with the position on nightclubs and music venues, sexual entertainment venues cannot open at the present time.”

A Glasgow City council spokesman said: "According to national coronavirus legislation, sexual entertainment venues are currently required to remain closed at this time.

“We have no clear picture at this time on when they will be able to reopen and no national guidance has been prepared on how the venues can safely reopen.

“Since lockdown started to ease we have been working with businesses across the city to ensure they can comply with the various covid controls expected by national rules.

“If sexual entertainment venues get the go ahead to reopen we will absolutely work with them to ensure staff and customers remain as safe as possible.

“Seventh Heaven recently took advantage of a licensing board policy that allows nightclubs to be repurposed as bars on a temporary basis.”