Pride 2022 -2026

Date of Meeting:

18th June 2020

Report of:

Interim Executive Director Housing, Neighbourhoods and Communities

Contact Officer:


Jo Player


01273 292488



Ward(s) affected:









1.1         The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBTQ) community have staged an annual Pride event in the City for over thirty years; its history is diverse and it has grown with each successive event. It is now the UK’s biggest Pride festival, with over 400,000 people taking part in the Pride weekend.  The event is a key part of Brighton and Hove’s identity as an inclusive and diverse city with a thriving LGBTQIA+ community.


1.2         Brighton Pride Community Interest Company has successfully run the event since 2013 with support from the city council and other statutory partners. Unfortunately, this year, due to the Covid-19 crisis the event had to be cancelled. In May 2020 the Tourism, Economy, Culture and Communities committee agreed to Brighton Pride Community Interest Company running the event in principle in 2021.


2.         RECOMMENDATIONS:    



2.1       That the Committee gives consent to the Brighton Pride Community Interest Company to stage the Pride Parade through the city and a fenced and ticketed Pride Festival in Preston Park and Pride Village Party in the St James’ Street area for the years 2021 – 2026 and grants delegated authority to the Executive Director Economy, Environment & Culture to agree the terms of the annual licences.


 2.2     That the Committee grants delegated authority to the Executive Director Economy, Environment & Culture to reach agreement with BPCIC regarding cost sharing over a four year period 2021-2024 with the aim that full cost sharing, as set out in the report, is reached by 2024.





3.1         Brighton Pride Community Interest Company (BPCIC) has run the event in the city since 2013.  A report to the Economic Development and Culture committee in November 2014 agreed that this organisation would continue to run the event until 2020 and would be able to increase the event so that BPCIC could become self-financing.


3.2         Pride events in the city include the Community Parade, Park Festival, Pride Village Party, the Pleasure Gardens and the Pride dog show. Pride also host a campsite at Waterhall. These events require considerable planning by BPCIC with extensive support from the city council and other statutory partners.  A city wide safety advisory group, made up of statutory agencies and others, oversee the planning and ensure that event plans and safety controls are in place. In 2019 an independent safety advisory group was also formed to ensure that there was additional oversight of the event.


In addition to the recent report to the TECC Committee, two further reports regarding Pride have also come before committee. In March 2017 a report to Neighbourhoods, Inclusion, Communities and Equalities committee reaffirmed the council’s support for BPCIC to run the event and that council officer time and capacity would continue to support.  A report in 2018 went to the Tourism Development and Culture committee specifically looking at the impact of the Pride Village Party on the local community. Committee agreed that the event should continue to be held in the St James’ Street area and that BPCIC would continue to manage it, meaning the city council was not required to.  Capacity for this part of Pride is for 42,000 attendees on both the Saturday and the Sunday. This does include approximately 8,000 passes for residents and businesses which are not charged for by BPCIC.


3.3         BPCIC is a not for profit community interest company.  The aim of BPCIC is to provide benefit to the community or to trade with a ‘social purpose’. Ticket revenue, sponsorship and concessions goes towards running the operational and running costs of the park festival, the community parade, the pleasure gardens and the Pride Village Party.  In total income generated by all of the events managed by the CIC was just over £4m in 2019. This is from ticket sales, sponsorship and concessions. Expenditure to run the event amounts to approximately just under £4m. In 2018 public accounts showed BPCIC holding reserves of £592,237. Officers recognise that holding reserves is good business practice because of the annual risks the organisation is taking. Ticket prices vary depending on when they are booked and have not been raised for several years.


3.4       As well as this, money raised contributes to the Rainbow fund and the Pride Social impact fund. Since 2013, £920,000 has been raised for local charities and community groups, with just over £200,000 raised from fundraising donations in 2019.  Attached at Appendix 1 is a list of the organisations that have benefitted from the Rainbow Fund with testimonials from some of those organisations.


3.5       It is envisaged that the event generates over £20m to the local economy in the run up to, and during the Pride weekend. In 2019 Pride introduced a City Angels scheme to engage businesses across the City to help support fundraising and community projects all year round. 26 businesses signed up in the first year each contributing £1000 to the fundraising pot.


3.6       BPCIC has managed and run a safe and well organised event for several years. This is particularly apparent with the Pride Village Party. Following concerns in 2013 that the event was becoming unmanageable, Pride took over the running and introduced a fenced-off ticketed area, resulting in a more manageable and safer event.


3.7       In 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Pride has been cancelled. Due to the cancellation and the uncertainty going forward, BPCIC and officers have had discussions about arrangements initially for 2021 and then beyond. It is recognised that an event of this size does impact on council services, in terms of additional direct costs, loss of revenues and additional officer time. Although committee previously agreed to the council absorbing these costs in 2017, council budgets have seen significant reductions over the last few years and it is appropriate to work with BPCIC to agree a full cost sharing arrangement.


3.8       There are three main areas where costs impact on the council – in cleansing services, in highways, and in the use of council land and licences.


3.9       Based on previous requirements, City Clean have calculated that the cost to the council to clean up after the event would have come to just under £60,000 in 2020. These costs only relate to requirements within the Pride footprint and not to the additional cleansing undertaken in the surrounding areas, which would double this cost. In 2019 Pride arranged volunteers to clean up the beach following the weekend. Officers recommend that the costs for cleansing within the Pride footprint are recovered as part of the negotiations with BPCIC.


3.10    During the Pride event certain parking bays in the city are suspended resulting in an estimated loss of income to the council of approximately £16,000. Currently BPCIC does not reimburse the city council for these costs, unlike other events in the city.


3.11    The city council would also charge for the use of its land which cannot be let to other organisations over several weeks in July.  Attached at appendix 2 is the current fees and charges document that would be levied against event organisers using council land. These will vary depending on the size of the event and the status of the event organiser. Charities and community groups are charged at a lower level than commercial events. Under previous arrangements BPCIC did not pay for the use of land at the Victoria Gardens/Old Steine, Preston Park or Waterhall for the campsite. Officers recommend that BPCIC are charged the community rate, which is the lowest, for the use of Preston Park, Waterhall and Victoria Gardens/Old Steine, which would amount to £17,825 in 2020. 


3.12    The city council currently grants consent for BPCIC to use its licence in Preston Park. This amounts to £40,000 which is not a cost to Pride. Officers believe that this could continue to be met by the city council. Pride does pay the council for the use of its license at the Old Steine and individual premises pay their annual premises licence fee in St James’s Street.


3.13    Not all of the costs set out above include officer time. Highways estimate additional officer time to administer the annual Pride event requirements amount to £3,500.  Other council teams such as the cleansing, events and licencing absorb these costs.  In total, the annual cost of officer time is likely to be in excess of £15,000.  Assuming the event remains largely the same, the city council will absorb these costs over the period, to assist BPCIC in making Pride a success.


3.14    Officers have held initial discussions with BPCIC about how the cleansing, highways and land use costs can be built into the Pride business model over four years from 2021.   The costs of licencing for Preston Park, for additional cleansing outside of the Pride footprint, and for officer time would be covered by the city council.  In total the council would seek to recover £94,000 from Brighton Pride CIC up until 2024 but would absorb costs amounting to £105,000 during the period of the agreement.




4.1         No other alternative option was considered as only close partnership working between the council, other public sector bodies and BPCIC can ensure the delivery of a safe and successful Pride event.




5.1         There has been no recent consultation in the compiling of this report. However community engagement is carried out on an ongoing basis by Brighton Pride CIC with local businesses and the wider community.


6.         CONCLUSION


  6.1    Brighton Pride is an outstanding annual event in the city which has been successfully developed since 2013 by BPCIC.  The city council will continue to support the event under future cost sharing arrangements.


6.2       The proposals relating to cost sharing for the annual Pride event are achievable because BPCIC should be able to gradually include these costs in their business model over four years.  Early discussions indicate that organisers believe cost sharing over time is reasonable.  BPCIC has run a very successful and safe event for many years and the city council supports this continuing to grow and change.




Financial Implications:


7.1       The costs involved in the city council supporting the annual Pride event are set out in the main body of the report.  It is proposed that agreement is reached regarding cost sharing over a three year period 2022-2024 with the aim that full cost sharing, as set out in the report, is reached by 2024 and included thereafter on a yearly basis.



Finance Officer Consulted:  Michael Bentley                              Date: 20/05/20




Legal Implications:


7.2       It is proposed that the BPCIC enters into an annual licence to run the event which will make clear what their responsibilities are. Legal services will draft the licence. There are no other legal implications arising out of this report.



            Lawyer Consulted: Alice Rowland                                                Date: 08/06/2020


            Equalities Implications:


7.3       Events in Brighton and Hove cater for people from all sectors of the community. This event is specifically aimed at the LGBTQ+ community living in the city as well as welcoming LGBTQ+ visitors from national and international destinations.  Pride generates significant positive media coverage for the city as a place to live in and to visit.  It should be noted the event is a clear demonstration from voluntary, public and private sector organisations of their commitment to equality and diversity in Brighton and Hove.








Appendix 1 list of organisation supported by the Rainbow Fund and Social Impact Fund


Appendix 2 Fees and Charges for Events 2020/21