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London mayor to invest thousands to protect LGBT venues

A research project will tackle why venue closures are happening, and what can be done to combat the issue

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and new night czar Amy Lamé have announced plans to invest thousands of pounds in funding to LGBT venues in the capital, with hopes to combat huge closures and damage to London nightlife.

According to Pink news, £10,000 will go into research carried out by University College London that aims to unpick why LGBT venues are closing, and what can be done to help.

Speaking at a Q&A session in Soho, Lamé, who founded LGBT club night Duckie and has campaigned for the famous Royal Vauxhall Tavern, explained the threat of developers and soaring rent prices are putting pressure on venues.

“It’s a difficult one. I think property values in London going through the roof has definitely had an impact, not just queer venues but also live music venues,” she said. “It’s always going to be more profitable in the short term to build luxury flats than it is to pull pints for gay people.”

“Developers will build a block of flats next to a vibrant club. They’ll be marketing it as the most exciting place to live in London, and then someone moves in and they realise people are making noise outside their window at 3 o’clock in the morning. They complain and then the club is shut down,” Lamé added.

Making London a “24-hour city” with its “vibrant night-time economy” is something Lamé says is totally realistic in the near future.