Manchester Pride has been forced out of Canal Street – as developments nudge the LGBT community away from the iconic Gay Village.
The annual extravaganza – which this year will feature performances from Rita Ora, Jake Shears and others – is now looking for a new home to hold the festival’s musical acts in 2019.
Pride CEO Mark Fletcher hailed the move as a ‘new era’, as he remained optimistic about the future of the event in a video posted today.
Being filmed at the location of Manchester Pride’s main stage, he said: “ will be the last time that we will be able to party and celebrate LGBT life in this space.
“2019 marks a new era and a new chapter of the Manchester Pride festival. There are many developments taking place around this part of the city and unfortunately we will no longer be able to use this space.”
He concluded: “Exciting things are to come.”
Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat councillor John Leech slammed Labour-led Manchester City Council for their part in ‘ripping the heart out of Manchester’ – which has meant the musical stages can no longer be used in their current spots.
He said: “Manchester provided a home and a sanctuary for the oppressed to express their love, and begin their long fight for equal rights. Removing this international celebration from its home will rip the heart out of Manchester.
“There has also been no consideration for local businesses and the impact that removing the main Pride stage from Canal Street will have on independent traders.
“Labour have not properly consulted local people at any stage of this process, they have disregarded the views of those that have raised concerns and are themselves in complete confusion, unable to guarantee any firm home for the festival next year just weeks before this year’s is due to begin.
“They must halt these greedy plans until they come up with something concrete they can propose to the community.”
A decision has not been made about where the main stage and dance stage will be relocated to, both of which are an extremely popular part of the Pride celebrations in Manchester.
This year’s Manchester Pride takes place from August 24 – 27.