Council to consider official gay quarter for Leeds

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Leeds City Council will address a motion to formally recognise its gay quarter next week.

Liberal Democrat councillor Stewart Golton plans to introduce a motion next week calling on councillors from all parties to back a campaign to recognise the Lower Briggate area.

Cllr Golton said: “I am sure the motion will receive support from all parties at next Wednesday’s council meeting. Formally recognising that Leeds has a vibrant and successful gay quarter will provide a boost to businesses throughout the Lower Briggate area, and the rest of the city centre.

“It is only a few days since I was part of an all party group which went to see the success Liverpool has made of its gay quarter. Manchester’s gay quarter has played a major role in regenerating their city centre and informal quarters have also grown up in other cities.”

Last year, members of Leeds’ gay community began calling for Lower Briggate, Bridge End and The Calls to have official recognition after moves to boost the district’s gay economy.

The motion being submitted on the 28 March this year says it “recognises the successful regeneration of Leeds city centre” and “particularly notes the emergence of businesses catering for Leeds lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in the Lower Briggate area”.

It suggests further investment and job creation, tolerance and a safer environment will follow from officially designating the area a gay quarter and suggested a report be drawn up on how to achieve it.