Leeds Pride's £4.3m boost for the city economy

Friday, 15th March 2019, 10:11 am
Updated Friday, 15th March 2019, 10:16 am

Leeds Pride 2018Large crowds gather in Millennium Square.

Leeds pride made more than £4.3m for the city’s economy, a recent survey has revealed.

The annual event, which celebrates the city’s gay, lesbian, bi and trans culture and acceptance, is now one of the major events on the city’s social calendar, according to a newly-released report.The publication of the new impact survey comes after the 2018 event which took place on August 5.

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It has revealed that 55,000 people came to last year’s Leeds Pride, which is an increase of around 15,000 compared to 2017’s event that raised more than £3.7m for the city’s coffers.

There were three main elements to Leeds Pride 2018 and the statistics have been compiled based on the two-and-a-half hours of entertainment at Millennium Square which included local and international acts and speakers on the Sainsbury’s stage.

And there was a parade through the city centre last year which was the biggest one there has even been throughout the 12 Pride years in Leeds.There were 121 entries with 5,000 people marching. Estimates suggest tens of thousands of spectators and visitors lined the streets to watch the parade.

And finally there was the stage at Lower Briggate which had five hours’ worth of entertainment and events.

Of the people surveyed, 94 per cent said it was the main reason they came to Leeds city centre that day and the age range of those attending was mainly 25 to 34-year-olds.

Interestingly, for more than 21 per cent, it was their first time at Leeds Pride while 42 per cent said they had been at least four times already before.

Leeds Pride also providers a welcome boost in trade for the city’s bars, pubs and restaurants as many Pride attendees get into the spirit of the celebrations.

Dave Robinson, of Bar Fibre on Lower Briggate, said: “Pride is without a doubt one of the highlights of the year for us at Fibre.“Each year it gets bigger and better, and 2018 was certainly the best to date with over 55,000 in attendance.“It’s great to see all the LGBT community come together for one day, with people travelling from all over the UK and beyond.”

Last month Leeds City Museum led the way in marking LGBT History Month with a programme of events which had everything from film-screenings and talks to thought-provoking artwork and an LGBT-themed computer game which took pride of place at the museum on Millennium Square.

A collection of materials from the Feminist Archive North is also on display in the museum’s collector’s gallery until July 9, including items from prominent campaigns such as Women’s Aid, Zero Tolerance and Reclaim the Night.Leeds Civic Hall was also lit up with the rainbow colours of the LGTB flag.

At the time, Coun Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for equalities, said: “Leeds is a place which proudly embraces diversity, inclusion and progress and which recognises the important contribution that LGBT culture makes to our city.”This year’s Leeds Pride will take place on Sunday, August 4 and continues to be largest Pride in the UK to still be a completely free event.