LGBT campaigners from Leeds are urging their city council to
grant them an official gay quarter - and, this week, visited
Liverpool to learn their recipe for success on the matter.
Led by Sarah Carmody, Chair of the official Gay Leeds committee,
the campaign wants to see a formal area for the West Yorkshire
city's LGBT community.
Joined by Stuart Pugh, manager of The Bridge LGBT Bar, Michael
Rothwell, owner of Fibre, and John Ebo, Deputy Head of
Service for Leeds City Centre management, the group travelled
to the Merseyside capital to meet members of the Stanley Street
Quarter - a local grass-roots organisation which recently helped
make Liverpool's Gay Quarter a reality.
In recent months, Liverpool's Stanley Street area has been
re-defined with rainbow-flag street signs, temporary traffic
restrictions during set hours and tourist information maps.
There, Carmody et al met - amongst others - Mike Cockburn, City
Centre manager, Liverpool Pride Trustees and the city's Deputy
Together, they discussed the future of the Leeds campaign and
shared knowledge to maximise its potential success.
Speaking to DIVA, Carmody told us the day was informative and
"We are incredibly grateful for the time that the SSQ delegation
took to give us such an amazing welcomed and informative day," she
"They have achieved incredible things in Liverpool and given us a
clearer vision for Leeds. From today, I am forming a stakeholders
committee which will include a fair and balanced representation of
LGBT people and together we will work with the council.
"We have decided to drop the name Leeds Gay Quarter and simply be
called Gay Leeds, which already has a website, Twitter, Facebook
and even a Youtube channel in place.
"Though we are not official as yet, Leeds City Council are doing
their up-most to help and I look forward to a long and happy
working relationship with them that will benefit every single LGBT
person and their families within Leeds."
Leeds already has an established gay scene, boasting six gay bars,
a nightclub and some gay businesses dotted around.
The Committee's plans for the city improvements include street
signs, rainbow flags and even painting a bridge, which can be seen
from the top end of Leeds in rainbow colours.