Popular Brighton gay venue Legends has announced it has closed for good, in a huge blow for the Sussex city's LGBTQ scene.
The venue in Brighton's Kemptown neighbourhood, which consists of a hotel, bar, and nightclub, had been temporarily closed due to the UK's coronavirus lockdown measures, but announced last week it will not be reopening after going into voluntary liquidation.
In a statement on its website the company said: "The company has had to make the difficult decision to close with immediate effect."
The closure means Brighton will lose two LGBTQ staples in the form of Legends bar and The Basement Club, as queer venues across the city and wider country face increased financial pressure in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Brighton Kemptown Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle told The Argus that he had already been in touch with Brighton and Hove Council about potential measures to protect the site's use as an LGBTQ venue.
"We need to make sure the venue doesn't fall into the hands of speculators, as LGBT venues in particular need to be protected", said Russell-Moyle, who last month revealed he had tested positive for coronavirus.
"It could be listed as an asset of community value, which would restrict its change of use and mean it would have to stay as a hotel, nightclub and bar.
"I don't mind who runs it, as long as it remains a prominent LGBT venue in our city."
Brighton and Hove Pride, which has been forced to scrap 2020's festival due to coronavirus, said in a statement: "This is sad news. Legends has been such a big supporter of Pride and community fundraising in our city over the years."