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G-A-Y owner appeals to Westminster Council to save venue from closure

By Joshua Haigh

The owner of G-A-Y Late is desperately trying to stop the venue from closing.

Jeremy Joseph revealed last month that G-A-Y Late is currently under rent review, and that the owner of the building is demanding a dramatic increase in rent. While the venue currently pays £300,000 a year, the manager of the property is now trying to force Joseph to pay up to £700,000 a year instead, an increase of a whopping £400,000.

In a bid to save the venue from forced closure, Joseph has now begged Westminster Council to allow the club to be open an extra hour, seven days a week, so he can afford the new costs.

In a statement on Facebook, the owner wrote: “The plight of G-A-Y Late is an example of how easy it is to lose a successful business, but to be clear, I won’t let it close and I will protect the jobs of the people loyal to G-A-Y.

“With that in mind I have come up with a plan – today I put in an application with Westminster Council to increase G-A-Y Late opening hours to 4am, that extra hour, 7 days a week, 364 days a year will cover the rent increase.

“I know, it is against Westminster Policy to increase hours in the stress area, but we didn’t ask for rent and rates increases, but we do ask for Westminster to secure the future of an LGBT venue by making exception to policy.”

Other venues to close for good in the last few years alone include The Black Cap in Camden, The Joiner’s Arms in Hackney, Vauxhall’s Barcode, The George and Dragon in Shoredtich, and Soho hotspots Shadow Lounge, Manbar, Madame Jojo’s and The Green Carnation.

Last November, London Mayor Sadiq Khan appointed queer activist and performer Amy Lamé as night czar fopr the capital, with many people hoping that her influence will help to slow the decline of the city’s LGBT+ scene.

It’s not all bad news though, last month has saw seen the opening of a brand new LGBT venue south of the river in Vauxhall