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Brighton set to open its LGBT+ center early next year

Brighton set to open its LGBT+ center early next year

  • Those behind the project say they are completing the lease on a site in the center of the UK’s LGBT+ seaside capital.
Jubilee Library, Brighton.

The UK’s LGBT+ seaside capital, Brighton, looks set to gain an LGBT+ community center early next year.

The center has been a dream for Brighton’s community leaders for many years.

But now the seaside city’s council is supporting a project to create the space next to Jubilee Library, in Brighton’s historic heart.

GSN understands that lawyers are completing the lease and those behind the project have a long-term funding plan in place. Meanwhile, plans are so advanced that interior designers are working out how to tailor the premises for the community.

Chris Gull, chair of Rainbow Fund, is leading the project.

He said: ‘As time has gone on the potential of what this new centre could contain has grown.

‘We are envisioning a community café, LGBTQ+ bookshop, exhibition foyer, studio theatre, meeting room/cinema, classrooms, office for G-scene, a community radio station… so it’s grown from a community center to be more.’

‘It takes a village’

The center will be in a former commercial premises next to the Jubilee Library.

The library itself is already a major draw. It opened in 2005 after a £50million regeneration of the area. And not only is it the biggest library in the city, it is also one of the busiest in England.

The LGBT+ center will take its name from the late James Ledward. The long-time LGBTQ+ community activist, who died a year ago, was a driving force behind the initiative.

Funding from both Brighton and Hove’s world-famous Pride and cash raised by its usually busy bar and club scene will help fund the Ledward Center in the long-term.

Despite the pandemic taking a heavy toll on fundraising this year, the Brighton Rainbow Fund has provided seed money for the project.

However, Gull and his team of volunteers hope the community will lend a hand in making it a reality.

Already 50 Brightonians have already signed up to help. But Gull says ‘it takes a village’ and is calling for more volunteers to assist in everything from legal advice to painting and decorating.

Meanwhile, they are also asking the community what they want from the center to ensure it helps as many people as possible.

You can find out more and offer help or feedback via the new Ledward Centre website.