British company The Co-Operative is sponsoring 15 gay pride events this summer after many feared cancellation from lack of funds.
Organisers of pride festivals across the UK were anxious they had to battle against the London Summer Olympics being the sponsors’ focus for 2012.
Bristol Pride boss Daryn Carter told Gay Star News: ‘It’s been a real struggle. We’ve had to be creative. People say to us that they don’t have any money but can they do something else.
‘Due to the Olympics a lot of festivals nationally, not just in the South West, have either cancelled or moved to avoid them. We thought about it, but in a year that has seen more teen suicides and LGBT bullying and reports of hate crime on the increase it would have been a shame not to have anything at all.’
Several Prides were cancelled across the country, along with Manchester’s women’s only LadyRock festival.
Jackie Crozier, founder and director of LadyRock, said: ‘Sadly we have joined a number of other events and festivals across the country which has been hit by the current financial climate.’
Liz Bramley, the Co-operative’s Head of Engagement & Diversity, said no other company has ever supported so many Prides across the UK.
She said: ‘The pride events are a brilliant way to spread the important messages of equality and celebrating difference to our employees, members and customers.’
The Co-Operative will be sponsoring Prides in Bradford, Manchester, Cardiff, Brighton, Sheffield, Calderdale, Glasgow, Bristol, Nottinghamshire, Liverpool, Leicester, Reading, Cumbria, as well as Northern Pride and London/World Pride.