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article imageLeeds set to get official gay quarter

By Steve Hayes     Nov 7, 2012 in Lifestyle
Leeds - The City Council is to consider well advanced plans to create an official gay quarter in Leeds city centre. The move follows years of campaigning and detailed council planning.
The Lower Briggate and Calls area of the city have long been unofficially Leeds' gay quarter. All that is set to change. As BBC News reports, advanced plans for the official recognition of Leeds' gay quarter are about to be discussed by the council.
The plan to create an official gay quarter has been developed through consultations with the local gay community and local businesses. As Gay Star News points out, the plans are now at a very detailed stage, with the council consulting on such matters of street sign styles and branding.
The campaign for the official recognition of an area of the city as the gay quarter was launched by Sarah Carmody when she was the editor of Gay Leeds magazine. She welcomed the news, but added a note of caution. She said:
It's a good idea but we need to be careful that it's an inclusive area and not one that segregates anybody.
The move to grant official recognition to the gay quarter was given substantial impetus when Councillor Stewart Golton, the Liberal Democrat group leader, introduced a formal motion in March of this year. As Pink News reports, Councillor Golton emphasised the economic benefits of formal recognition. He told the council:
Formally recognising that Leeds has a vibrant and successful gay quarter will provide a boost to businesses throughout the Lower Briggate area, and the rest of the city centre.
Leeds already has Leeds Pride, which reportedly attracts around 23,000 visitors to the city and boosts the local economy by £1.5 million.
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