May 19 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, June 30, 2012
London’s gay pride celebrations are still set to take place next weekend, albeit with changes to the plans.
There had been reports that Pride London, which also incorporates World Pride 2012 on July 7, would be cancelled due to funding problems.
While there will be no floats or vehicles involved in the parade, there will still be a procession and a celebration in Trafalgar Square.
The annual LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) event will kick off next Saturday with a walking procession from Baker Street to Whitehall, beginning at 11am.
This will be followed celebrations in Trafalgar Square until 6pm, for which the Mayor of London is providing funding of £100,000.
A statement on the Pride London website says the event, held to celebrate the equality and diversity of the LGBT community, will be going ahead.
“Each and every year, Pride London needs to achieve some serious commercial targets to fund the event - and this year, targets are even higher than before, because of increased cost, the sheer scale of the planned event and mounting pressure to deliver a ‘world class’ event.
“To a backdrop of a more difficult economic climate and tough sponsorship calls considering everything that is happening in London this year, fundraising from both corporates and from within the community has been more challenging than ever.
“Despite creating a strong sponsorship base for this year’s planned event, there is, in the week leading up to the 7th of July, still a shortfall.”
It adds: “As a result, we are returning to the roots of the original Pride London rallies. The ‘parade’ as we know it will now be a procession. It will cover the same route as planned, but with the exception that there will be no vehicles or floats participating. The procession will commence at an earlier time of 11am instead of the scheduled 1pm kick-off.
“The celebrations in Trafalgar Square are expected to proceed, but with some changes to the programme, including an earlier start and finish time.
“There will be no official World Pride events in Soho. Licensing regulations will be that of any normal day, the Golden Square event will be cancelled and the Family Area in Soho will proceed independently. Nonetheless, whilst World Pride will have no official activities in Soho, we do expect the day’s celebrations to continue and for Soho to be very busy.”
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Pride is a fantastic and vital event in London’s calendar, which we are proud to sponsor.
“We have worked hard with the organisers and other agencies and I’m delighted that it will be going ahead. We will continue to work with the Pride organisers, the Met Police and Westminster Council to ensure a safe and successful event for all.”