Boris Johnson has announced London LGBT + Community Pride (LLCP) as the successful bidder for a five-year funding and support package to run London’s annual Pride celebrations.
The event celebrates the capital’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, & transgender communities and in past years has attracted hundreds of thousands of people from across the UK and around the world.
The Mayor invited bids for a five-year funding package in October after the 2012 event was scaled back due to funding shortages. The lack of cash emerged just days before the event was due to take place, threatening its viability.
In December London Assembly Members heard how the Mayor’s office intervened to ensure the day’s festivities went ahead despite the funding problems.
Sir Eddie Lister, Chief of Staff to Mayor Johnson, told a committee of AMs that City Hall had considered downgrading or pulling its funding.
However Sir Eddie said the decision was ultimately made to support the Trafalgar Square aspect of the day, which included live performances by Boy George and R&B singer Deborah Cox, when it became clear a march would still go ahead with or without support.
He told AMs that supporting the Trafalgar Square event had allowed crowds to disperse in a safe and controlled manner, ensuring the safety of those attending.
The funding package includes a grant worth up to £500,000, free use of Trafalgar Square plus assistance from a Greater London Authority events officer. In total City Hall’s support will be worth around £650,000.
Announcing the winning bid, Mr Johnson said: ‘London’s Pride celebrations are one of the biggest and most high profile events in our city’s cultural calendar.
“They are enormously popular and underpin London’s status as one of the best cities in the world for LGBT people, who make an enormous contribution to the social and economic life of the capital. With a new partner, strongly rooted in the community, our ambition is to see a successful event that is sustainable in the longer term.”
LLCP’s Michael Salter added: “We’ve already begun working with community groups and sponsors and now we are looking for motivated individuals to get involved and join the small army of volunteers that are essential to making Pride a roaring success.
“We are a Community Interest Company, which means any surplus made can only be used to support the event in future years or donated to LGBT+ organisations and we hope this will appeal to potential sponsors.’