A CITY centre venue claims it is down half a million pounds in revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic – yet was denied a valuable funding grant.

Box, along with neighbouring Sauchiehall Street venues Broadcast and Nice N Sleazy, were snubbed from a grant intended for nightclubs under the Covid-19 Contingency Fund.

Box director Steven McColm said that the funding would be a “godsend” as it may not be viable to reopen until next year due to the imposed curfews.

According the Scottish Government’s tier system, hospitality has to enforce early curfews in all but Level Zero areas – and 80% of Box’s income is attributed to traffic between 10pm and 3am.

Glasgow Times:

The grant was announced at the end of October and would have served as a lifeline for the three venues, which could have been awarded up to £50,000 each.

Mr McColm said: “Any funding we can get access to is warmly welcomed, but when we get denied it, it is a kick in the face.

“It doesn’t look like it’s going to be any time soon we’re going to be able to use our three o’clock


The three Sauchiehall Street spots were denied the cash because they were seen as music venues, with officials explaining the Scottish Government believed such venues could benefit from the Culture Organisation and Venues Recovery (COVR) fund.

None of the three benefitted from that fund and they claim they have been operating as nightclubs for years.

Mr McColm explained that they did not apply to the COVR fund because they benefitted from the Grassroots Music Venues Stabilisation Fund – but financial support from that expired in October.

The business owners are appealing for the venues to be reconsidered for the Covid-19 Contingency Fund.

“It’s frustrating and annoying and it makes you furious,” Mr McColm said.

“We just want some transparency on why we’re getting refused and on why they’re pigeon-holing us as music venues when we’ve been trading as a club for years – since conception.

If approved for the grant, Box would be awarded £25,000, which would help it cover rent and other expenses until January.

The director said: “We’re spending £12,000 a month just being closed.

“Rents don’t stop, insurances don’t stop and equipment hires don’t stop.”

Box has kept on its 15 members of staff since March also subsidising their wages during furlough.

Mr McColm explained there are no plans to reopen until Glasgow enters Level One restrictions – it is currently at Level Three – which he cannot see happening before the end of December.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said the issue was raised with the Scottish Government but that there had been no “movement in their position on this issue”.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We absolutely appreciate how difficult the current crisis has been for venues such as Nice n Sleazy, Broadcast and Box – which have been eligible to apply for our £15m Culture Organisation and Venues Recovery Fund as well as our £2.2m Grassroots Music Venues Stabilisation Fund. These schemes are part of our package of more than £2.3 billion to support Scottish businesses through this pandemic.

“Box was awarded £30,000 and Broadcast and Nice n Sleazy were each awarded £40,000 through the Grassroots Music Venues Stabilisation Fund - for which applicants had to demonstrate that they were music venues and not nightclubs.

“In addition, music venues which meet the criteria are also eligible for the Strategic Framework Fund which will open for applications on Friday 30th. A list of eligible sectors and more information can be found on the Scottish Government website.

“We need to be as fair as we can to ensure as many businesses and organisations as possible get some support rather than a smaller number of businesses accessing multiple different funds.”