Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Pride to come of age - thanks to Brighton Council £20,000 loan

Great news - Brighton's celebration of our LGBT heritage, Pride, will take place this summer - after Brighton Council agreed to loan organisers £20,000.

The parade and festival had been thrown into doubt after it emerged that the event faced a £50,000 cash shortfall.

But today I have learned that the 18th annual Pride will go ahead this year after the council agreed to plug the funding gap with a £20,000 loan - something Green Councillors have been calling for since the financial troubles facing the event emerged last autumn.

Caroline Lucas (pictured with other local Greens during last year's parade), Green Party leader and parliamentary candidate for next-door Brighton Pavilion said: the decision made good economic sense:

“The decision to loan Pride the money makes good economic sense as well as being a win for Brighton's LGBT community. Far and away the highlight of the city’s free cultural calendar, Pride attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from the rest of the UK and around the world and puts the city on the map. Local businesses take in more trade that weekend than any other, and the business case for supporting Pride is overwhelming. Greens are delighted the event has been saved.”

Councillor Vicky Wakefield-Jarret, Green spokesperson on LGBT and Equality issues on the council, said: "It’s great news that Pride’s financial security has been secured. Pride weekend is a defining feature of Brighton & Hove – a city renowned as the gay capital of the UK. Every year, the event gives us a unique platform to shout from the rooftops about our support for the LBGT community and our belief in tolerance, fairness and equality for all."

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