Legends, one of the cornerstones of Brighton’s LGBT+ community, goes into liquidation

For years, LGBT+ folk in Brighton have nuanced from the lanes and the promenade to Legends, a hotel and bar on the seafront. (Google)

Legends, a hotel-come-late night party bar for the queer community in Brighton, England, announced Thursday it has gone into voluntary liquidation.

The hotel, bar and basement club has for years sat in the port town’s Kemptown neighbourhood, perched alongside other seafront queer clubs that lean into the chilly English Channel air.

But in a statement on the space’s website, Legends owners confirmed the voluntary liquidation, with all sections of the website redirecting to the statement.

They stated that owners made the “difficult decision” to shutter the business and all bookings moving forward have been cancelled.

What does it mean that Legends has gone into voluntary liquidation?

Owners confirmed that the space has plummeted into voluntary liquidation.

This occurs when owners cannot pay business debts and, as a result, creditors are brought in.

“The company has had to make the difficult decision to close with immediate effect and a licensed firm of insolvency practitioners has been instructed to assist in placing the company into creditors voluntary liquidation,” the statement read.

“Therefore, no further bookings can be made. For all existing bookings, you will be contacted shortly with details on how you can register your claim.

“If you have paid for a booking using a credit card, you may wish to contact your credit card provider to check whether you are entitled to a refund.

“The company sincerely apologises for the inconvenience caused.”

Brighton MP: Loss of Legends is a ‘great shame for the city’.

As the coronavirus pandemic pelts and upends everyday life, queer business owners have wrestled with the devastating economic effects of measures to contain the outbreak.

Chiefly, government orders and recommendations to shutter nightlife venue doors has thrown many queer spaces – often on threadbare budgets and razor-tight margins – into jeopardy. Questions of rent payments loom over business owners.

Brighton Kemptown Labour member of parliament Lloyd Russell-Moyle told The Argus he lamented the loss of Legends.

“If the owners have had a problem accessing these loans, they can contact us and we will try to help,” he said.

“But if the business has a longer-term issue of not being viable, this is a great shame for the city.

“We need to make sure the venue doesn’t fall into the hands of speculators, as LGBT+ venues in particular need to be protected.

“It could be listed as an asset of community value, which would restrict its change of use and mean it would have to stay as a hotel, nightclub and bar.

“I don’t mind who runs it, as long as it remains a prominent LGBT+ venue in our city.”