It’s been a tough year for London’s LGBTQ+ venues, which were forced to close in March during lockdown. Even as restrictions have eased, clubs have been unable to reopen and bars have been hit by the 10pm curfew. But there is some good news: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced emergency funding for some of the city’s LGBTQ+ venues that have been hit hardest over the last few months.
Announced this week, eleven venues across seven boroughs have received grants from the Mayor’s Culture at Risk Business Support Fund. A total of £128,500 has been given to LGBTQ+ venues to help with ongoing costs including paying rent, staff and suppliers.
The amount of emergency funding given varies depending on the venue. The largest recipient is Fire in Lambeth with £23,000, followed by £18,000 for West Five Bar in Ealing and £15,000 for The Glory in Hackney.
Here’s a full list of the venues receiving emergency funding:
George & Dragon
New Bloomsbury Set
Royal Vauxhall Tavern
West Five Bar
The money is part of the £2.3 million emergency fund launched by the Mayor of London to support the creative industries during this time. Of that amount, £225,000 has been allocated for LGBTQ+ venues. City Hall plans to distribute further funding to venues in the next few months.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: ‘I am so proud to be the Mayor of a city which embraces openness and diversity. The pandemic has had a significant impact on our LGBTQ+ venues, which we know play a vital role in supporting the community, acting as a safe haven where they can feel comfortable and free to be who they are.
‘That’s why we’ve been working hard to protect these spaces and why city hall is providing investment and support at a critical time for our venues to help secure a future for our vibrant LGBTQ+ scene across the capital.’