Funding for 2014 Brighton Pride parade to be saved by councillors

Funding for the annual Pride parade is set to be saved thanks to an 11th hour intervention from politicians.

Organisers behind the world-famous event, which brings more than 150,000 people into the city, had been concerned that Brighton and Hove City Council was to scrap a yearly £25,000 sum towards its costs.

The local authority claimed the money was not needed now the wider event is run on a commercial basis.

But, with organisers claiming it would help cover outgoings before the parade on August 2, The Latest understands that Conservative and Labour groups on the council will unite to overturn the decision.

It is not yet clear if they will be joined by members of the Green-led authority when decisions on the whole budget are made at a crunch town hall meeting on Thursday.

Paul Kemp, of Brighton and Hove Pride, said: “Pride will be thrilled if this funding is agreed to support the LGBT community parade and sustainability of Pride.

“The community parade is one of the highlight of the cities calendar that the whole community engages in.

“We look forward to an even better community parade this year, celebrating our freedom to live.”

The annual pot of money has been disputed for the last three years.

Last year it was taken out of the yearly recurring grants programme and turned into a one-off amount with nothing allocated for 2014 event.

Opposition groups have now presented separate plans to divert money elsewhere in the council’s budget to maintaining the £25,000 pot.

At least one of these is likely to be supported by the other party.

Conservative group leader Geoffrey Theobald said: “Brighton and Hove’s Pride is an internationally renowned event which, last year, was attended by 160,000 people and contributes an estimated £13.5 million to the local economy – in other words, money in the pocket for our local businesses and traders.

“It also generates significant sums of money for local LGBT and HIV good causes – over £43,000 last year.

“We are, therefore, delighted to be able to put forward a budget amendment to continue to give £25,000 to the Pride Festival to ensure that the much-loved community parade can go ahead.”

Labour group leader Warren Morgan said: “Labour backs Pride and believes that a small investment of £25,000 is well worth it to secure the parade for 2014, a parade which is enjoyed by thousands each year and which generates huge amounts of business for the city’s shops and restaurants that provide thousands of jobs for local people.”

The Green group was asked for a comment but did not respond at the time of publication.

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