The manager of Southside BID - the Business Improvement District which includes Birmingham’s gay village - is calling for the government to give additional support to the hospitality sector following the cancellation of Birmingham Pride 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Julia Robinson said: “Birmingham Pride is one of the biggest celebrations of LGBTQ+ culture outside London. Last year the city, and Southside in particular, welcomed more than 75,000 revellers over the course of the weekend, and this year’s event was set to be the biggest yet. However, given the circumstances, understandably it just can’t go ahead, with the team behind the festival putting public safety first.
“Pride brings in a staggering amount of revenue for our district. From the hotels, shops and restaurants to the bars & clubs that Southside is renowned for, the whole area benefits from the flagship event. With so much of Southside temporarily closed during the lockdown, all of our businesses are already struggling.
“As a result, Southside BID is supporting the national #RaiseTheBar campaign, calling for the government to increase the threshold of the Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grant that was launched at the start of the lockdown. Currently the threshold for eligible businesses is £51,000, but we want to see this raised to £150,000. By doing so, many of our bigger venues could be saved from going under.
“The latest news about Birmingham Pride is another blow to an industry that is already facing an increasingly uncertain future, and with many other major cities likely to follow suit, we need the government to act now.”
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