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Over half of London’s LGBTQ+ venues have closed, and others must “diversify” say experts

Since 2006, 58% of London’s LGBTQ+ venues had closed, with the number of spaces dropping from 125 to just 53.

Over half of London's LGBTQ+ venues have closed, and others must "diversify" say experts

According to a 2017 report by University College London’s Urban Laboratory research faculty that looks into issues like housing, planning and nightlife, since 2006, 58% of London’s LGBTQ+ venues had closed, with the number of spaces dropping from 125 to just 53.

At the time of the study, UCL Urban Laboratory’s Dr Ben Campkin said: “A large number of venues have succumbed to changes of use, development, and the inability of operators and customers to defend themselves against rent increases and unfavourable changes to their terms of lease.”

In a recent article on the topic, put together by BBC Three, several industry professionals had their say, including Teddy Edwardes – who stars in the channel’s new show ‘Big Proud Party Agency’ with fellow event producer Ryan Lanji, the founder of Hungama, the UK’s first LGBTQ+ Bollywood club night, and luxury party planner Christopher Mills. 

“I think a lot of gay venues just didn’t make enough effort when it comes to making things diverse and doing different things,” Teddy says.

“People go into Soho, and it’s been the same for over 10 years. Like cheesy music, the same white gay men. There’s nothing they’re doing differently to pull in different crowds. I just think they got a bit complacent thinking that they are the only place people can go.”

To read the full article, check out BBC Three’s website.

‘Big Proud Party Agency’ airs on BBC Three on Wednesdays at 9pm and is also available on BBC iPlayer.

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