|Greater Manchester has set out plans to improve support for young lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people with £450,000 of funding for a trailblazing LGBT+ Centre.
The Proud Trust’s LGBT+ youth centre, which was the first of its kind in Europe when it opened in 1988, remains one of only four such centres in the country.
Over the last three years demand for the Proud Trust’s services, that empower young people to make a positive change for themselves and their communities, has increased.
To meet demand they are building a three story centre, which will increase the number of people the centre helps from 12,000 a year at the moment to around 50,000 a year once the work is completed.
Focussing on youth engagement, the centre offers group sessions and peer support to young people that need their help.
Councillor Brenda Warrington, Greater Manchester portfolio lead for Equality said: “I’m incredibly proud that our city-region has a worldwide reputation as a LGBT-friendly place. Equality is at the heart of everything we do here.
“When the Proud Trust’s LGBT+ youth centre first opened in 1988, it was the first of its kind in Europe and helped to cement Greater Manchester’s reputation as somewhere that did things differently and warmly welcomed LGBT people.
“By approving funding for the centre’s scheduled renovation, we’ll show that spirit is alive and well.”
Manchester City Council’s Lead Member for LGBT Women, Councillor Bev Craig, said: “Manchester has always been at the forefront of the fight for LGBT+ rights and I’m proud that our city-region is continuing our long-standing commitment to our diverse LGBT+ communities in the region. Support from GMCA on top of the £250,000 from Manchester City Council and Big Lottery will ensure that the LGBT+ Centre will provide support for generations of LGBT+ young people to come.”
Carl Austin-Behan, LGBT adviser to the Mayor of Greater Manchester said: “When this centre opened back in 1988 it was a trailblazer, and since then we have seen it go from strength to strength.
“I’m really proud that this proposal has been brought forward and now The Proud Trust can now get to work and start with the rebuild. The centre will be a vibrant hub, doubling the space they currently have, providing a safe environment and help continue to support the next generation of LGBT+ young people across Greater Manchester.”
Amelia Lee, Strategic Director of The Proud Trust said: “The Proud Trust and all the groups at the LGBT+ Centre are delighted that we have the support of the Greater Manchester Combined Authorities.
“Through this rebuild, The LGBT+ Centre can help thousands of people who need safety, friendship and support. This work helps put Greater Manchester on the map as one of the best places in the country to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans.”
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) is scheduled to consider proposals that would see £450,000 put towards the renovation of the youth centre on January 25th.