Brighton Pride ‘disappointed’ at removal of £25k council grant

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The organisers of Brighton Pride say they have been left “disappointed” at the withdrawal of a £25,000 funding grant from Brighton and Hove City Council.

The Green Party, which has minority control of the council, believe the city’s annual LGBT festival no longer requires access to the grant because the current Pride committee has successfully turned the event around in the past 12 months.

A new not for profit community interest company took over the running of Brighton Pride in 2012 after the previous organisers faced accusations of financial mismanagement.

The current committee managed to donate a record £43,000 to local LGBT causes through the Rainbow Fund, having earmarked £1 from every ticket sold last year.

Brighton Pride CIC told Gscene: “The directors of Brighton Pride Community Interest Company (BPCIC) are disappointed that the annual grant previously awarded by Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC) to the organisers of Pride was withdrawn in 2013.

“However, we recognise the financial support that BHCC continue to provide to LGBT community organisations through the three year Strategic Grants and Pride Day Grants Schemes.”

“In 2014 and beyond we look forward to working with the council to explore alternative funding sources that secure the success of the LGBT Community Parade in 2014.  With the continued support of BHCC we will also be bringing forward exciting new proposals for the further development of Pride weekend.”

The chair of the council’s economic development and culture committee, Green Councillor Geoffrey Bowden, in previous years a former Pride volunteer, said: “We are massive supporters of Pride and are particularly pleased that the ticketed format for the event is delivering a healthy surplus and allowing LGBT charities to benefit from grants administered by the Rainbow fund.

“Indeed, in the face of the continuing squeeze on funds from central government to local authorities such as Brighton & Hove, it is essential that major events such as Pride become sustainable. Pride CIC has demonstrated that it has a financially sustainable model, which we applaud.”