As the city celebrates Pride in London, we’ve had some alarming news about the capital’s LGBT+ scene. London has lost 74 LGBT+ venues since 2006, according to a new report by UCL Urban Laboratory – a fall of 58 percent in a decade.
An interactive map published by the Mayor of London’s office charts the closures. Whereas 23 boroughs had at least one dedicated LGBT+ venue a decade ago, today that number is just 13. Islington alone has lost 80 percent of its spaces. Much-missed venues elsewhere include the Joiners Arms and George & Dragon in Shoreditch and The Black Cap in Camden.
The Mayor and Night Czar have plans to support London’s remaining LGBT+ bars and clubs with a new charter, boosting visibility and helping venues under threat of closure – whether that’s because of rising rents or business rates, or just a change of ownership. ‘We want to make it as easy as possible for LGBT+ venues to exist, and as difficult as possible for them to close,’ said Sadiq Khan today. But it’s a timely reminder to anyone who loves London’s diversity: your local queer spaces need you. Love them or lose them.