After months of negative publicity, not unlike that experienced over the last year in Brighton, businesses in Manchester’s Gay Village will come together tomorrow, Thursday February 14, to sign a charter that looks to prevent negative behaviour and incidents within Canal Street and its surrounding areas, and further to improve the gay village generally.
Businesses in the gay village have made the bold decision to tackle head on the increasing anti social behaviour which has been harming visitor levels to the gay village leaving many bars empty and putting the future of some gay venues at risk.
All members of the Village Business Association (V.B.A) will sign the ‘We Love Our Village’ document, aptly on Valentine’s Day, to address the issues such as drug usage, violence and hate crimes in the area, to further improve the conditions of Manchester’s Gay Village.
The sharing of potentially important CCTV footage; the responsible sales of alcohol; demonstrating transparency when fundraising for events such as Manchester Pride; and publicly displaying copies of the charter across venues also form part of the pledge.
Andrew Stokes, chair of the Village Business Association, said:
“The VBA work together to ensure that Manchester’s Gay Village is a safe and enjoyable place for its businesses, staff and visitors alike. As such, we are delighted to cement our aims further through the ‘We Love Our Village’ document – a signed charter that will be on display in all VBA businesses to demonstrate our commitment to the village and those who are a part of it.
“Manchester’s Gay Village plays an important role in our LGBT community, and so it is essential that the businesses within it continue working together to combat any instances of homophobia, violence and other forms of anti-social behaviour. The VBA has been working with community organisations such as the Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF), Manchester City Council (MCC), the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and CityCo – and we hope this charter will cement how far we have all come together in making the Gay Village a safe place, and improve it even further.”
Councillor Pat Karney, Manchester City Council’s city centre spokesman, said:
“There’s already excellent joint work going on between responsible businesses in the Village and a wide range of partner organisations to make it a safe and welcoming place. This charter builds on that and represents another welcome step forward.”
Village Business Association venues will be celebrating the signing of this charter on Thursday, February 14 in numerous ways – and will have the charter on clear public display on their premises.