Business News

UK’s first LGBT+ business and media centre launches in Gateshead

Besi Besemar January 14, 2019

Former North East television studio gets a new lease of life, as the UK’s first LGBT+ business and media centre.

Mayor of Gateshead, Cllr Jill Green and Jonathan Morrell of Pride Community Network
Mayor of Gateshead, Cllr Jill Green and Jonathan Morrell of Pride Community Network

STONEHILLS, at Shields Road, Pelaw, was previously used by the BBC but has been empty for a number of years.

With the support of Gateshead Council, it will now become the Pride Media Centre, offering a range of opportunities and support to the LGBT+ communities as well as their allies.

The complex will be the home of Pride Community Network, a not-for-profit organisation and will become the new base for North East station, Pride Radio 89.2 fm, which currently broadcasts online to around 125 countries from studios at Newcastle’s Dance City.

This will be followed in 2019 by the launch of an online television station, Out and Proud TV.

The centre has a number of TV, radio studios and recording booths, along with 16 offices which will be available to fledgling businesses from both the LGBT+ communities and their supporters.

The aim is for businesses to develop and be nurtured in the incubator hub, in a safe environment with support given to address any particular issues.

At the same time the centre will run a range of outreach programmes aimed at reaching isolated members of the LGBT+ communities and deliver to them a range of relevant services.

Initially the management team are being seconded from Pride World Media, which is a multi-platform LGBT+ broadcaster, to help the venture get off the ground.

“This is a really exciting venture and we’re delighted to be able to run the first dedicated LGBT+ business and media centre in the UK,”  said Jonathan Morrell, chair of the Board of PCN and an award-winning TV broadcaster and journalist.

“There is a real opportunity here for us to do something very special and give the LGBT+ communities the chance to turn their business ideas into a reality with the full support of a strong network of experts.

“We are extremely grateful to Gateshead Council for being so forward-thinking in allowing us to launch this unique venture here in the North East.”

Cllr John Adams
Cllr John Adams

Councillor John Adams added: “We’re delighted to welcome Pride Community Network to Gateshead, not only because they’re dynamic and ambitious but because they promote and embrace diversity.

“As a council this is something we are very much supportive off, and as a gay man it is important to me personally. The council is helping the company get started and we’re looking forward to seeing and hearing more from Pride Community Network in the new year.”

The not-for-profit organisation is now looking for support from businesses across the region which are interested in building their relationship with the LGBT+ communities.

Work has already started on transforming the building, with a view to office accommodation being available to rent from early in 2019.

More information for businesses wanting to get involved is available by contacting the centre at