Unite workers bid for iconic Glasgow venue

Collective makes Note perfect business plan

Reading time: 4 min

Former 13th Note workers have lodged a formal bid to take over the iconic Glasgow venue.

The workers, members of Unite Hospitality, have submitted a comprehensive 27 page business plan to re-establish the 13th Note as one of the most important cultural spaces for the people of Glasgow to enjoy live music, art and sustainably sourced vegan food. This while ensuring that workers receive the best pay and conditions in the sector. 

The 13th Note Collective business plan focuses on 4 key key areas which set this bid apart from any other: 

  • Workers control and operation meaning that workers determine their own pay and conditions while investing profits in venue and community outreach programmes. 
  • To re-establish the 13th note as the most important space for live music and culture for burgeoning artists from across the city.
  • Sustainably sourced local produce to make the best quality vegan food and drink available to customers. 
  • Utilising the previously untapped potential of the venue’s most unique elements such as making the recording studio available to up-and-coming artists. 

The collective are now calling on City Property and Glasgow City Council to do the right thing for the city and award the lease to the workers who know the venue better than anyone. 

Nick Troy, 13th Note worker said: “On Tuesday (12 June) we officially submitted our bid to take over the lease for the 13th Note to the landlord – Glasgow City Council and City Properties.

“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 programmes and the sustainability of the venue.

“Through our experience as workers of the 13th Note under Jacqueline Fennessey, we bore witness to the failures of the private ownership model in operating, nurturing and sustaining a venue of such social and cultural importance.

“It is this experience that has led us to 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.

“City Properties and Glasgow City Council have a real opportunity to deliver an excellent facility for the people of Glasgow, and a tenant dedicated to ensuring the sustainability of the venue rather one hellbent on profit whatever the cost to staff, punters or the unit itself. 

“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.”

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 workers rights or one that gives hospitality businesses carte blanche to extract maximum profit from workers and customers with no care for quality or service.” 

To keep up to date with the campaign to save the 13th Note follow the campaign social media pages on X and Facebook.

By Keith Hatch