GLASGOW is currently without the use of a clutch of its key arts venues. Closed for a major two-year refurbishment, the Citizens Theatre will at least host productions at the nearby Tramway starting from late summer. However, last month’s fire at the Mackintosh building left the School of Art’s music venue out of action and the O2 ABC gutted.

Staff are only now being allowed back into the historic Pavilion Theatre following the blaze at Victoria’s nightclub in March. Speaking to reporters earlier this week, Pavilion manager Iain Gordon said the clean-up alone would cost up to £150,000, and that the closure would cost the business “well over £1 million”.

And what of the Centre for Contemporary Arts, situated just yards from the scene of the second fire to devastate the Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s masterpiece in four years?

Hemmed by the official cordon around the fire scene as well as work to pedestrianise that part of Sauchiehall Street, the venue’s lights remain off as post and litter collects in the doorway.

Some businesses remain open in the area, such as the Blue Arrow jazz club, but you’d never know – the place is a confounding mix of dead ends and false promises.

While the future of the area remains uncertain, the impact of the closure of the CCA feels such a wound as to be almost unquantifiable. Since the 1970s, in its previous incarnation as the Third Eye Centre, the CCA has been a hub for the city’s arts scene. Showcasing Scottish artists and bringing international names to Scotland, it is unique in that it offers free space for individuals and organisations to programme their own events.

In 2016-17, CCA worked with 253 such partners across more than 1000 individual events and 26 festivals. The building is home to 18 other organisations which play a key role in the nation’s cultural life, such as the Scottish Ensemble, inclusive arts group Paragon, the Scottish Writers’ Centre and The List magazine.

Intermedia, an independent gallery space funded by Glasgow City Council, also calls the CCA home.

Other businesses use the space too, most notably Cafe Saramago, retail independents Aye Aye Books and Welcome Home.

“The ramifications go on forever,” says the CCA’s director, Francis McKee, who is also a research fellow at the School of Art. The National spoke to him following word from the council’s building control team, who are in charge of the cordon, and contractors Reigart, who are dismantling the Mackintosh building, that the operation will take eight weeks.

The CCA has been forced to cancel two months of programming, with staff working to help find alternative venues for partner events.

All events have suffered, and none more so than the Scottish-European Parliament, the CCA’s flagship summer exhibition by Netherlands artist Jonas Staal. A participatory exhibition exploring ideas for an independent Scotland back in the EU, it opened on the very night of the Art School fire.

McKee says he hopes to restage Staal’s exhibition, as well as other events, once the CCA is allowed to reopen.

In the meantime, he says his priorities are to honour the CCA’s commitment to its staff, as well as supporting the CCA’s partners to do the same. In what must be a worrying time for all involved, each organisation is having to deal with their insurance providers separately to see how long their staff can be paid.

While respecting the cordon, McKee says he wants a regular review on how long it will last – a desire no doubt shared by many in the area. With no certainty, businesses – and residents –cannot plan and funds haemorrhage further. There have been reports of how residents denied access to their homes have had to apply for crisis grants to see them through.

“If it is going to be two months, it would help to know that for certain so we can work towards getting things up and running,” McKee says. “As soon as it’s safe, we want in.

“We want people to recognise that we’re a key economic generator in the street. That’s not even an art point, it’s just a business point.

“Beyond that, if anyone was able to support us with the staff, and support those other businesses to help make sure that they survive, that’s my main concern.”

Vibrant local economies don’t blossom overnight. They depend on unique teams of people and relationships of trust nurtured over years.

The success of the CCA, as McKee says, is the result of collective efforts. As, too, is the success, or otherwise, of Glasgow’s most famous street.

With complacency, with no support, with goodwill but nothing else on the part of the authorities, Sauchiehall Street and Glasgow’s wounded arts scene – long touted as a reason to visit and live in the city – will wither.