Number of LGBT venues in London increases for first time in a decade

The number of LGBT+ venues in London has increased for the first time in years, according to new statistics released this week.

There are now 52 LGBT+ venues in the capital city, up from 49 last year. Between 2006 and 2017, the number of LGBT+ venues in London decreased by 61 percent.

The increase has been welcomed by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who set up an LGBT+ Venues Charter to help curb the decline.

Khan is now calling on more venues to sign up to the charter, which serves as a practical tool for developers and pub companies to help protect venues at risk of closure or changing use.

LGBT couples have more spaces than ever (Dan Kitwood/Getty)

The increase in the number of LGBT+ venues comes as a relief after University College London’s (UCL) Urban Laboratory published a report last year which looked at the decline in-depth.

They pinpointed the negative impact of large-scale developments and a lack of safeguarding measures as being detrimental for LGBT+ venues in London.

The UCL report suggested that this decrease was happening despite continued demand, and that these venues were closing because of external issues.

Speaking about the increase in venues, Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “I’m proud that our capital stands as a shining light of diversity to the world and it’s important to me that the LGBT+ community always feels that they have a home in London.

Sadiq Khan at the PinkNews Awards 2017 (Ross Brind)

“LGBT+ venues play a vital role in supporting the community and that’s why I’ve been working hard to support them with the capital’s most pro-LGBT+ planning strategy ever and my LGBT+ Venues Charter.

“I’m pleased that numbers have stabilised this year and urge even more venues to show their support for the community and ensure we halt the long-term decline.”

The Mayor’s LGBT+ Venue Charter is a five-point pledge which venues can sign up to. It asks that they have a rainbow flag on display outside the venue, that it should be marketed as an LGBT+ venue and that it will be welcoming and accessible for all.

It also says that staff should be LGBT+ friendly and programming should be focused towards LGBT+ customers.

He is now calling on more venues to sign up to the Charter to help protect LGBT+ venues.

Some of the new LGBT+ venues that have opened in the last year include The Cock Tavern in Kennington and Circa: The Club, Enbankment.