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London LGBTQ venues to get £225,000 in emergency funding, Sadiq Khan announces

The Royal Vauxhall Tarvern, The Glory and Fire are among the venues receiving funds amid the coronavirus pandemic.

By Jamie Tabberer

LGBTQ venues across London are to receive emergency funding following Covid-19 totalling £225,000, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced today.

A total of 11 spaces receiving aid include the Royal Vauxhall Tavern in South London, West London’s West Five Bar and Dalston Superstore in East London.

The grants are from the Mayor’s Culture at Risk Business Support Fund, and are to help in the short-term with rent, staffing and supplier costs.

Commenting, Khan said: “I am so proud to be the Mayor of a city which embraces openness and diversity.

“The pandemic has had a significant impact on our LGBTQ+ venues, which we know play a vital role in supporting the community, acting as a safe haven where they can feel comfortable and free to be who they are.

“That’s why we’ve been working hard to protect these spaces and why City Hall is providing investment and support at a critical time for our venues to help secure a future for our vibrant LGBTQ+ scene across the capital.”

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London’s Night Czar Amy Lamé added: “LGBTQ+ venues provide a welcoming space for the community as well as employment for thousands of Londoners. They support an ecosystem of talent that includes performers, DJs and promoters. This fund has been a lifeline for LGBTQ+ venues following the massive blow from the coronavirus pandemic and gives them a chance of survival as we move forward.”

Owner of West Five Bar in Ealing, Bal Sidhu, said: “LGBTQ+ venues are very important to provide a venue open to all yet importantly remain a safe haven for members of the LGBTQ+ community. The entertainment industry has been struggling with more and more venues closing down or being replaced with residential units which could lead to certain arts and niche cabaret being lost in the UK, which would be a real shame.

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“In these testing times the support of the London Mayor […] has been a tremendous lifeline in improving cash flow with easily accessible grants. This has helped us create a buffer to be able to establish payment plans. This truly gave venue owners who are mostly individuals and not necessarily part of larger organisations, some much needed light at the end of the tunnel.”

Further funding is set to be given out to venues in the coming months, City Hall has said.

The list of LGBT venues receiving funding:

Bar CMYK (Merton) – £6,500       

Circa Club (Westminster) – £10,000         

Dalston Superstore (Hackney) – £10,000

Eagle (Lambeth) – £9,000

Fire (Lambeth) £23,000

George & Dragon (Greenwich) – £8,000

New Bloomsbury Set (Camden) – £10,000             

RVT (Lambeth) – £14,000              

The Glory (Hackney) – £ 15,000  

VFD (Hackney) – £5,000

West Five Bar (Ealing) – £18,000