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LGBTQI nightlife spaces in London

LGBTQI nightlife spaces in London

Initited in 2016 by Dr Ben Campkin and Laura Marshall, in collaboration with community groups the Raze Collective and the Queer Spaces Network, this research project focuses on nightlife spaces important to London’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) communities since 1986. 

The project uses surveys and archival study to map the breadth and diversity of the LGBTQI scene, gathering additional data from community members, venue managers, event promoters and performers through surveys, workshops and interviews. The research highlights the diversity of the capital’s LGBTQI nightlife, as an important contributor to neighborhoods and the wider night-time and cultural economy. Through survey and interview data it also shows the importance of these spaces to community life, welfare and wellbeing.

The research looks at London since 1986 – when the Greater London Council was disbanded, marking a shift in urban regeneration policy - to the present day - a time of wide reporting and activism around the closure of commercial LGBTQI spaces.

Full report

In July 2017, we released our full report from the project, which showed that the number of LGBTQI venues in London has fallen by 58% from 125 to 53 since 2006. Reasons given for this fall include the negative impacts of large-scale developments on venue clusters, a lack of implementation of safeguarding measures in the existing planning system and the sale and change of use of property by landlords whereby venue owners, operators and clients have severely limited negotiating power compared with large organisations.

The Mayor of London has supported this work as part of the development of a Cultural Infrastructure Plan. This is a manifesto commitment by the Mayor and will be published in 2018. The Plan will identify what London needs to sustain and develop culture up to 2030. The collection of quantitative data on venues openings and closures will be reflected within this as part of the capital’s cultural infrastructure. In making this commission, the Greater London Authority (GLA) note the ‘significant work’ published in our interim report.

Interim report

In November 2016, we released our initial report from the project, which confirmed London’s LGBTQI nightlife spaces have seen a recent intensity of closures, with the largest threats to the most longstanding venues, and those catering to women and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic LGBTQI people.

The report urges politicians and policy-makers, including the Mayor, to positively respond to closures and pressures on venues and other spaces by building protection and promotion of LGBTQI spaces into the London Plan and local borough plans and policies.

In the media

Events

  • Peer-reviewed symposium, Night Moves @ UCL Transport Institute (17 October 2017)
  • Peer-reviewed symposium, Never Gonna Dance Again @ National Trust, Sutton House (20 September 2017)
  • 'Emerging queer spaces', Uniqlo Lates with Camp-er-Van @ Tate Modern (July 2017)
  • Queer Fun, Duckie and Queen Mary, University of London @ Royal Vauxhall Tavern (10 June 2017)

Project website


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