Renewed hope for Sheffield gay centre

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A new centre to cater for Sheffield’s gay community is a step closer as final consultation on the plan takes place.

LGBT Sheffield wants to create the facility – which would ideally be in the city centre – to offer services for the whole population.

Organisers hope it would help attract businesses to cater for the 10,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people living in Sheffield.

Architecture students from Sheffield University commissioned research into similar centres, which was then presented to a packed public meeting at Sheffield Town Hall.

Further consultation on the idea will end in June before the next phase of securing funding can begin.

Kath Housley, LGBT Sheffield chairman, said at the meeting: “The centre has got to be central and it has got to be visible. We’ve never had any LGBT visibility in the city centre and it is about time we did.”

The centre would provide facilities, support services, information and activities – as well as supporting LGBT groups and organisations.

A coffee shop, meeting and consulting rooms could also be provided.

Coun Neale Gibson, LGBT Sheffield secretary, said: “I believe the time is right for the whole population to support this project.

“We are very excited about it.

“We believe an LGBT centre will encourage the growth of many gay businesses around it to cater for the needs of the 10,000 LGBT people who live in and around the city.

“The plan has the backing of Sheffield Council, but no financial support, so we are appealing to the community to come forward and support this.”

A further meeting on the plans will take place in June.

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