By Gillian McKenzie
Speaking to SLTN three months after a police helicopter crashed through the roof of the Clutha, claiming the lives of ten people, Alan Crossan said the assistance from licensed trade charity the Ben, drinks suppliers and individual licensees in the wake of the tragedy has been “invaluable”.
He said it helped ensure his 12 staff were paid up to now and enabled three of the five full-time workers to obtain jobs at other pubs while the Clutha is shut; one of the full-time staff is recovering from an injury sustained in the crash, while the fifth – the manager – is working with Alan on the ongoing situation at the Clutha.
Alan also received support and advice from the Federation of Small Businesses on legal and insurance matters; and from Glasgow City Council.
And he said he has been overwhelmed by the number of events organised to raise funds for those affected by the tragedy, including the recent benefit led by Scott Gemmell of LA Group, which raised £16,000 for the Clutha Appeal Fund.
“The support from right across the trade has been incredible,” said Alan, who has owned the Clutha for ten years.
“My first thoughts were obviously with everyone affected by the tragedy. Then you think ‘what do I do now? What will happen to my staff now that the pub is closed?’
“The answer is, that no one really knows because, thankfully, nothing like this has ever really happened before.
“The Ben were brilliant – they were on it immediately; as were many of my suppliers. None of them wants me to go into detail but they know who they are and I know how much they helped me and I just want to say thanks to these people.”
Alan is now in the process of launching the Clutha Trust; it aims to raise funds for disadvantaged young people by encouraging publicans across Scotland to stage live music events.
He also plans to rebuild the Clutha, with a memorial to those who lost their lives in the tragedy on November 29, as soon as possible.
“The Clutha will definitely be rebuilt; in what form I don’t know yet, but I’m committed to rebuilding it,” he added.
“It’s been terrible but just knowing the trade is there, supporting you, gives you a lift.
“It was a bit like the cavalry coming to help. I don’t think you would get that in any other industry.”