Pride in Brighton & Hove has identified a potential financial deficit following this year’s lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and trans (LGBT) Pride Beside the Seaside festival and main park event. The possible shortfall puts a question mark over whether it will be possible to mount a free event on the same scale in 2010, unless substantial funds are generated.

At a specially convened press briefing Pride announced today that it is launching a drive to raise £50,000 before the end of 2009.

Yvonne Barker, Chair of Pride in Brighton & Hove said that despite raising more in sponsorship support than in previous years, a combination of the general economic downturn, increased costs to put on the event, rising office utility costs and lower donations on the day due to the appalling weather, has resulted in the need to launch a major fund raising drive.

Commenting, Pride Chair, Yvonne Barker said:

“While many enjoy Pride as a free event, it costs us more than £300,000 to stage. We are a charity and rely on the generosity of local businesses and individuals, who raise much needed funds. However, the truth is that there are many more businesses in the city – both straight and LGBT run – that benefit enormously from the Pride festivities and yet contribute nothing towards the running costs. We will be approaching those businesses for donations, as well as going back to our traditional supporters for help.”

Pride will also be launching an appeal for donations to its members and the more than 3,000 subscribers to the Pride official Facebook site, who all enjoyed themselves on the parade, in the park and at the numerous events in the run up to and after the main park event.

“The message is clear,” she said, “if we are unable to raise sufficient funds to cover the expected shortfall, we will need to seriously scale back next year’s Pride festivities and reduce the support we are able to give to local LGBT community groups.”

She went on to say that over the coming weeks Pride would be announcing a series of fundraising initiatives and will be reaching out to individual, business and community group supporters for donations and to tap into their own ideas to help raise money.

Those wishing to donate can do so immediately online at Pride in Brighton and Hove – make a donation – JustGiving

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