Just as Manchester Pride was about to start it emerged that Manchester City Council was apparently making plans to close down the Lesbian and Gay Centre.
The Centre is the only one of its kind in the country and has been on its current Sidney Street site for about twenty years. Before that it was in Bloom Street.
The Centre stands on a prime piece of real estate in the so-called ‘Oxford Road Corridor’ area which is ear-marked for redevelopment in the near future. Co-incidence? I think not…
Understandably some of the groups that depend on the Centre were alarmed by this news. A campaign was started to save the Centre, videos made and uploaded, petitions drawn up and meetings called. The speed and effectiveness of the action so far seems to have alarmed the ‘powers that be’. With the result that two local Councillors, the Council’s spokesman on gay men’s issues and the BBC turned up at one meeting last week, along with around twenty-five members of the public.