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Wednesday 13 November 2013

Manchester Pride delays release of charity figure following protest (video)

Download: large (832×468/mp4) | small (320×180/mp4). Suitable for mobile or if you can’t view above.

“Manchester Pride you’re a disgrace, come down here and show your face!” This was the chant on Monday lunchtime (11 Nov) on Portland Street.

About 20 members of the LGBT community gathered to demand answers from Manchester Pride, whose offices are on the ninth floor of the Manchester One tower.

Despite a range of longstanding campaign issues about fences, exclusion and ticket prices, the most pressing concern on this occasion was the money raised from last summer’s Manchester Pride. The organisation is a registered charity

Tony Cooper, the Manager of Via and a former Deputy Chair of the Village Business Association is one of the business people who expected a fundraising total to be announced last Friday, but it never came.

He wasn’t at the protest, but blasted Pride in a public statement last week, writing “I love Manchester Pride and have attended every one but what I am hearing and seeing now is beyond worrying.”

Over the weekend rumours swirled that, despite the usual near £1 million income, the charity money had hit rock bottom. Somewhere in the region of £20,000 to £29,000. The lowest amount since the event was a jumble sale on the cobbles of Canal Street more than 20 years ago, if true. And protest plans were drawn up.

While local radio reporters conducted interviews among the protesters, village stalwart Julia Grant ‘phoned the Pride office. But the staff weren’t answering and she was directed straight to voicemail. She left a message and later said she was “disgusted.”

“At the end of the day they’re working for the community running Pride. We’ve asked how much was raised. They’re just making it more and more awkward for themselves.”

After an hour, the protesters walked the short distance to the town hall. Finding Albert Square fenced off as the Christmas market was put in place, they decided to occupy the reception area.

One banner that was waved carried the message “our Pride charity is not your tourist cash cow.” A reference to claims published by Manchester Council that Pride generates up to £22 million of economic benefit for the city each year.

The Council’s grant to Pride has been cut to just over £11,000 — about one third of what it used to be. Inevitably campaigners point to the £425,000 that the Council paid towards a brief Alicia Keys concert in 2012.

Later, Manchester Pride announced that the charity amount now won’t be made public until December. But will the gay community be willing be wait that long?

Thanks to photographer Paul Jones for the black and white photo included in the video. You can see more of his work on Flickr.

Sign the petition

Board of Manchester Pride, Manchester City Council & Manchester Police: We the undersigned demand a public meeting over the conduct and future of Manchester Pride

Technical: Panasonic HDC-SD80 camcorder, edited with Sony Vegas Pro 10, encoded with XMediaRecode and MetaDataMover.


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,Politics,With video — GS @ 10:10 am
Thursday 20 October 2011

Manchester Pride charity figure for 2011

Manchester Pride has announced a figure of £105,000 for good causes.

However, only £98,000 of this amount was raised during the ten day festival. The other £7,000 came from fundraising at the Manchester Pride Dinner which took place in September 2010 — almost a year before. (more…)


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 9:38 pm
Wednesday 19 January 2011

Pride charity money given to the Village Business Association

The origins of Manchester Pride go back to 1990 when an August Bank Holiday event was set up by several of the gay businesses. The aim being to raise money for good causes – particularly for those connected with HIV and AIDS.

So it’s quite extraordinary to hear that, this year, the opposite has happened; some of the money raised by Manchester Pride has been handed to the Village Business Association (VBA) – the body that represents businesses in and around Canal Street.

While many charities face cuts and a fall in income due to the economic situation, and some community projects get no financial support whatsoever, the VBA has received £4,000 which will go towards the cost of putting up a decorative arch at both ends of Canal Street.

This sum won’t cover the entire cost of the project. But luckily it seems Manchester City Council may have some spare money for this.

At the same time as it announces it has been left with no option but to make 2,000 job cuts, the City Council may be able to find £8,000 to put towards this project.

Chinese arch in Manchester Chinatown

It’s being described as an ‘arts project’ and the arches may look something like the structure in nearby Chinatown. But some people who bought tickets for Manchester Pride or put money into a collection bucket must wonder if this is an appropriate use of the charity fund.

Also, as news is announced that no less than three venues are threatened with closure, they might wonder whether charity money is being used to try and shore up the profits of businesses in the gay village.

UPDATE (May 2012): nothing has happened so far and, possibly due to the publicity surrounding this, the Council hasn’t put forward any money for it. It’s been suggested that the VBA will hand back the cash if the arch doesn’t go ahead. We’ll then check up to find out where that £4,000 ends up.

Where do these ideas come from? Birmingham City Council has given £10,000 towards a “rhinestone-encrusted model of a rhinoceros” that will mark the entry to the city’s gay village.

When all kinds of services are being cut, spending public money on this kind of vulgar tat just brings the LGBT community into disrepute. If the businesses in Birmingham’s gay village think this will boost profits then let them pay for it.


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 8:54 pm
Wednesday 27 October 2010

Manchester Pride 2010 raises just £115,000 for good causes

Manchester Pride 2010 has raised just £115,000 for charity. In real terms, this is considerably less than was raised by the free-to-attend GayFest a decade ago.

There’s how the figure fits into the overall picture: (more…)


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 3:33 am
Friday 6 November 2009

LGF receives award from hardship fund / Manchester Pride announces 2009 community fund

The Lesbian and Gay Foundation has been awarded £121,165 from a hardship fund that is run by the Community Development Foundation. (more…)


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 7:08 am
Friday 2 October 2009

Manchester Pride 2009 raises £135,000 for good causes

Manchester Pride 2009 has raised £135,000 for good causes.

It’s the highest figure for a number of years, but not if you take into account inflation (which is about 30% over a decade). Allowing for inflation it is about the same as was raised in 2000 from the free and much-smaller GayFest and less than was raised in the years from 2003 to 2006.

But, considering the current economic situation across the country, the organisers have done well to keep the figure anywhere near those of previous years.

I understand that (more…)


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 1:15 pm
Saturday 30 August 2008

Manchester Pride is a marketing event run by ‘dictators’ says chairman of Village Business Association

In a surprise development last night, Phil Burke the chairman of the Village Business Association issued a statement.

(more…)


Filed under: LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 3:34 am
 
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