To celebrate LGBT History Month 2016, the MU hosted a panel discussion examining recent closures of LGBT venues and what we could do to preserve them in the future. A year on from this event, things are beginning to change.
Amy Lamé, an advocate of LGBTQI nightlife, has been appointed London’s Night Czar and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced plans to fund research conducted by University College London (UCL) Urban Laboratory , which will explore why LGBTQI venues are closing and what can be done to protect them.
A new interim report produced by Dr Ben Campkin and Laura Marshall from UCL Urban Laboratory, in collaboration with the Raze Collective and Queer Spaces Network, looks at LGBTQI nightlife venues in London since 1986.
The report makes recommendations for the creation of a more favourable culture to support new and existing LGBTQI venues and events. It suggests recommending and enforcing improvements to licensing, policing, business regulation, rent conditions, statutory protections for buildings and businesses, and subsidies, for example for accessibility.
Campkin and Marshall also call for the promotion of networking among LGBTQI venue owners and managers, night-time entrepreneurs and civil society organisations in order to promote the use of venues for a mix of uses, including daytime uses of benefit to LGBTQI and local communities.
The MU continues to support the work of the Queer Spaces Network and is happy to see LGBTQI venues being taken seriously as a contributor to neighbourhoods, and the wider night time and cultural economy.