Manchester Pride 2014 raise £54,000 for good causes

Besi Besemar November 9, 2014

Pride organisers publish their 2014 annual review.

Manchester Pride

MANCHESTER’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride charity will distribute £54,000 raised during 2014 to LGBT and HIV charities and organisations in the Greater Manchester area.

After criticism from sections of the LGBT community in Manchester which included public protests, 2014 was a year for the organisers of Manchester Pride to look at the business model they use to deliver the event. They re-engaged with local LGBT communities in Manchester through the creation of the Community Collective and local LGBT people and Pride attendees were invited to Be Involved via new Listening Groups. Measures were also introduced to reduce costs and boost fundraising following a decline in fundraising income for the past five years.

Mark Fletcher
Mark Fletcher

Mark Fletcher, Chief Executive for Manchester Pride, said: “We had a big challenge this year to begin reinventing the festival and remind the LGBT community of Manchester what an important part of the year the Manchester Pride Festival is.  The Listening Groups and Community Collective enabled us to talk to the community face to face hearing their thoughts first hand and we hope they saw the effects of their feedback throughout the year.

“I am proud that we have raised £54,000 which will again go to charitable causes and that we made a shift from the declining fundraising totals.  This was a direct result of our new strategy and programme of events and I cannot deny that the great weather over the Big Weekend and beginnings of economic recovery in the North West had an important part to play.

“As we move towards the 25th anniversary of an LGBT celebration in Manchester we will continue to implement the strategy and hope to see this figure increase further in 2015.”

Chair of the Community Collective, Manchester Pride Community Patron and prominent Canal Street businessman, Anthony D Cooper, said: “2014 has been a great year for Manchester Pride. Positive steps have been made towards re-engaging with the local LGBT community, the community collective and listening groups have seen the community working with Manchester Pride to ensure the festival is an event that the LGBT community can feel proud to be part of for the next 25 years. The results of these positive steps are there for everyone to see – a fantastic Pride Fringe, a fantastic Big Weekend and a significant improvement on the charitable donation that will help so many of the LGBT causes that Manchester Pride supports”

2014 started with the Listening Groups and the Community Collective, both of which brought together individuals and groups from within the community to share their feedback on the festival and make recommendations for the future.

Two new Trustees and three new Non-Executive Directors were also appointed to the Board.

The first fundraising event, Supersonic, saw X Factor winner Sam Bailey singing under the wings of Concorde which raised £9k for charitable causes.

August welcomed not only the Big Weekend but also the Pride Fringe with a series of art, culture, heritage, debate, sport, music and film events celebrating the great diversity of the LGBT community in Manchester.

The hugely popular and thought provoking Coming out, from Script to Screen, led by Corrie creator Tony Warren alongside writer and new Manchester Pride Patron Damon Rochefort, joined by fellow writers Debbie Oates, Jonathan Harvey and cast members Anthony Cotton and Brooke Vincent, offered debate around the concept of characters in soaps coming out and how the story moves from script to screen.

The Pride Fringe also played host to the exclusive world premier of Pride, a film recreation of the extraordinary story of a group of LGBT activists who supported the miners through the strike of 1984 bringing together two seemingly alien communities to form a surprising and ultimately triumphant partnership.  Alongside the premier, Pride Fringe also hosted a Q&A with cast member Joe Gilgun and writer Stephen Beresford.

The year’s Pride events came to a close with the Big Weekend over the August bank holiday. Highlights included the Parade headed up by Orange is the New Black star Lea DeLaria as Marshall and performances by a broad range of artists including Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst, All Saints, Pixie Lott and Anastacia.

The Big Weekend brought just over 37,000 people into Manchester’s gay village and there were 133,924 visits to the site over the four days.

To read the Manchester Pride 2014 Annual Review, click here:

For more information about Manchester Pride, click here: