Calls for Brighton to get an official “gay village”

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Brighton and Hove should recognise the area in and around St James’s Street as the city’s official “gay village”, according to campaigners.

Earlier this month, Liverpool became the first city in the UK to include the Rainbow flag on street signs around its newly designated gay quarter.

James Ledward, the editor of Brighton and Hove’s Gscene magazine believes recognition of Brighton’s traditional gay focal point would benefit the city and make it easier for tourists.

He told The Argus newspaper that: “if you have a designated gay village, like an artists’ quarter, it can be a massive boost to tourism.

“In Brighton we do have large areas that are very gay but it would give a focus to the gay village of four blocks surrounding St James’s Street”.

However, some are fearful that official recognition could lead to greater exclusion and even create a “ghetto”.

LGBT activist and resident Chris Cooke told The Argus: “the last thing we want is a big neon sign at the bottom of St James’s Street – that would do the opposite to what we want to achieve and make the area more exclusive”.

He added, “whether we designate the area the gay village or not, the council should be investing serious money in the area to greatly improve the general environment.”

Brighton and Hove City Council is said to be looking at the plans.

Canal Street was awarded official recognition as Manchester’s gay quarter during the 1990s by the city’s council.