Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has announced emergency funding will be put towards LGBTQ+ venues hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The strain of the pandemic has forced many LGBTQ+ businesses to go forward with cuts or operate under reduced staff numbers.

During lockdown, the very same venues were forced to close in a united effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and many are still suffering the economic pressures of the closures.

As a part of a governmental scheme, eleven of London’s hardest hit venues have received grants ranging between £5,000 and £23,000 to help with finances, including short-term with rent, staffing and supplier costs.

Earlier in the year, a £2.3m emergency fund was allocated to support culture and creative industries at risk. Out of this funding, £225,000 was provided to support LGBTQ+ venues in partnership.

According to government stats, creative industries contribute £58 billion to London’s economy every year and provide one in six jobs in London. Without support, COVID is set to put 154,000 jobs at risk.

The Mayor of London said: “I am so proud to be the Mayor of a city which embraces openness and diversity. The pandemic has had a significant impact on our LGBTQ+ venues, which we know play a vital role in supporting the community, acting as a safe haven where they can feel comfortable and free to be who they are.

“That’s why we’ve been working hard to protect these spaces and why city hall is providing investment and support at a critical time for our venues to help secure a future for our vibrant LGBTQ+ scene across the capital.”

As a part of the emergency fund to support the arts, £445,000 was also provided to support grassroots music venues. £1.5m was also given to support artists and creative businesses and a further £150,000 used to aid independent cinemas across London.

Below is a list of venues that have been confirmed to receive a grant:

Bar CMYK £    6,500 Merton
Circa Club £  10,000 Westminster
Dalston Superstore £  10,000 Hackney
Eagle £    9,000 Lambeth
Fire £  23,000 Lambeth
George & Dragon £    8,000 Greenwich
New Bloomsbury Set £  10,000 Camden
RVT £  14,000 Lambeth
The Glory £  15,000 Hackney
VFD £    5,000 Hackney
West Five Bar £  18,000 Ealing