London: City Hall announces winner of gay pride bid

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London LGBT+ Community Pride has been awarded the right to run the capital’s main gay pride festival for the next five years – in a grant worth over £650,000 – for the full duration.

Last October, London Mayor Boris Johnson invited non-profit community based groups to submit bids to run the event – in the wake of July’s financial failure of World Pride.

World Pride had to be heavily scaled back after the organisers, Pride London, were forced to admit to a cash crisis just days before it was due to take place.

Pride London’s chair Dr Patrick Williams resigned as a result of the fiasco in the same month.

On Friday, it was announced that London LGBT+ Community Pride would now be responsible for managing the event.

Chairman Michael Salter said: “We’re delighted with the support we’ve already had for our bid from the community but the hard work starts now. We have 115 working days to raise the funding required, finalise plans and make our vision a reality. We’ve already begun working with community groups and sponsors and now we are looking for motivated individuals to get involved and join the small army of volunteers that are essential to making Pride a roaring success.”

Mr Salter added: “We are a Community Interest Company, which means any surplus made can only be used to support the event in future years or donated to LGBT+ organisations. We hope this will appeal to businesses and individuals sponsoring Pride.”

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “London’s Pride celebrations are one of the biggest and most high profile events in our city’s cultural calendar. They are enormously popular and underpin London’s status as one of the best cities in the world for LGBT people, who make an enormous contribution to the social and economic life of the capital.

“With a new partner, strongly rooted in the community, our ambition is to see a successful event that is sustainable in the longer term.”

The proposals for the overhaul of London’s Pride celebrations include: opening the festival with a fundraising dinner on Tuesday 25 June; holding a Festival of Pride in the week leading up to the parade, taking in cultural, political, artistic and theatrical events, in partnership with organisations such as Channel 4, the British Film Institute and the new St James’ Theatre; and a sports day linked to London’s bid to host the 2018 Gay Games.

Soho will also continue to play a major role on the Saturday, being used for a diverse range of events – including the traditional street parties as well as a dedicated women’s area.

The directors have invited Lisa Power, former secretary general of the International Lesbian and Gay Association and currently policy director at the Terrence Higgins Trust, to act in a personal capacity as the independent chair of a Community Advisory Board.