Manchester Pride ‘forced to leave’ iconic gay village location over property development

Manchester’s Pride festival will be forced to leave its iconic Canal Street location from 2019 due to property development, it has been revealed.

Pride organisers confirmed to PinkNews that due to “significant property development in the area… there won’t be the space next year” to host the event in the same area.

Manchester Council has approved plans for development on several of the sites currently used for Pride, including the Portland Street area in the gay village used for the main stage.

(Creative Commons photo/Flickr user Rachel LimeSpiked)

The Council has insisted it “fully supports the annual Pride weekend” and will “work with the community and organisers to identify and secure an alternative space to host the event.”

However, organisers say the event will “never look the same again.”

Manchester Pride’s chief executive, Mark Fletcher, said in a statement: “A number of reasons have led to our making this decision for 2019, in order to avoid disappointing our audience in the future.

“There has been speculation about the developments in the Portland Street and gay village area for some time. A number of developments are now underway in spaces that were previously used for event infrastructure.

“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to plan and deliver The Big Weekend in a space that is decreasing in size. Next year there will be more developments taking shape that will further reduce the space available for us to deliver a safe event to the current scale.

“In addition to this, and equally impactful, is that the terms for the use of the privately owned spaces that house our Main Arena and Dance Arena have changed.

“Essentially this means that we cannot be certain that we’ll be able to use these areas up until three months before the event is scheduled to take place. We simply cannot take the risk of disappointing the tens of thousands of people who come along to experience the first class entertainment provided in these spaces.”

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