Gloucestershire is now without a gay bar

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Gloucestershire is now without a dedicated gay venue following the closure of the county’s single remaining gay pub.

The Westgate in Gloucester has ceased trading, reports the Gloucester Citizen.

The venue had hoped to raise £25,000 to stay afloat and had struggled to recover from a bad fire and resulting water damage in 2013.

Landlord John Huggins made a “sudden decision” to cease trading, according to owners Enterprise Inns.

An Enterprise spokesman said: “Unfortunately our venue the Westgate Hotel has closed due to the Publican’s sudden decision to cease trading.

“However, we would like to reassure customers of this popular pub that we aim to have it back open and trading at the heart of Gloucester as soon as possible.”

Gloucester City Councillor Tarren Randle said: “It’s a big blow to the LGBT community. It’s a lovely venue and I’ve had many good nights in there.

“They opened their doors to everybody no matter who you were.

“Gloucester is a safe place and I’ve never heard of any problems with homophobic incidents. I hope people will still feel safe to come out into the city.”

Local drag Baroness Peaches Tart added: “This means the county no longer has a safe place for the LGBT community.

“We have a transgender community and young people coming out with no focal point for information, support or a place to meet new friends that feel the same.

“Everyone was welcome at The Westgate so long as they didn’t cause problems. Now we have nowhere to showcase what our gay community is all about.”

EXS, a popular gay club in Cheltenham, which is also in the county, closed its doors in 2012.