Bullingdon Club Boris Johnson offers £650,000 to keep Gay Pride

Mayor’s £650,000 offer to keep gay pride in the pink

Maxine Frith
25 October 2012

Community groups have been asked to bid for the right to run London’s gay pride celebrations for the next five years under a scheme announced by Boris Johnson.

The Mayor has pledged £650,000 in grants to the successful bidders and hopes a more professional tendering process will avoid the last-minute disasters of this year’s event.

Under the new process, the winning bidder will run the Pride celebrations for five years with a grant agreement from the Mayor of £500,000. The fee for using Trafalgar Square will be waived and an events officer would be assigned to the project, taking the total sponsorship to more than £650,000.

The event was plunged into chaos this year when a huge funding shortfall meant the celebrations were scaled back at the last minute, with no floats allowed on the parade, no formal street party and an earlier finishing time of 6pm.

Community groups and businessmen blamed chronic mismanagement and the entire board of Pride London resigned last month, leaving next year’s event in limbo. Pride celebrations in the capital have been running for 40 years, organised by an elected board, but have frequently run into financial problems, in-fighting and other problems.

The London Assembly’s oversight committee has launched an inquiry into how £100,000 of taxpayers’ money was spent on Pride this year.

Mr Johnson said: “London’s Pride celebrations are a key event in our city’s cultural calendar.” Not-for-profit community organisations have been asked to submit expressions of interest to the Mayor’s office.

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