Barclays Supports one of the Biggest Events in the London Calendar

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Barclays Supports one of the Biggest Events in the London Calendar

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.@Barclays_cship major sponsor of the #London #GayPride Parade takes place 10-26 June.
Friday, May 20, 2016 - 8:30am

CAMPAIGN: Access to employment

CONTENT: Article

The Pride in London Parade could not be more different from the original Gay Pride Rally in 1972. With no corporate sponsorship and closure of central London roads, the parade had a strong but humble beginning.

The first official UK Gay Pride Rally was held in central London on 1 July 1972 and saw more than 2,000 people participate. This date was chosen as the nearest Saturday to the anniversary of the Stonewall riots of 1969.

The rally, which became known as a march, continued for many years and it wasn’t until the controversy of Section 28 (stating that local authorities “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality") that the event began attracting larger crowds made up from both the LGBT community and the general public.

In 1983, the march was renamed ‘Lesbian and Gay Pride’, and during the 1990s it gradually became a carnival. By the 2000s, the march had grown in size and would start and end with large park gatherings and fairs in several London locations.

Formalisation of the parade

In 2004, Pride London, an official body to oversee the march and other associated events, was formed. By late 2012, a group of individuals from within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community formed London LGBT+ Community Pride, a registered community interest company that took over the organisation of the Pride in London festival and parade.

London LGBT+ Community Pride was awarded a five year contract by the Greater London Authority to organise Pride in London for five years. Funding of £500,000 was given and the mayor personally pledged his support. Any excess funds generated through sponsorship or raised at the events themselves are distributed in grants to LGBT+ community groups. The organisation is formally accountable to an elected chairman and Board to ensure transparency and accountability.

More than just a march

Pride in London has morphed into a week-long festival celebrating all aspects of the LGBT community. This takes place in June each year and includes the central London Parade, a festival in Trafalgar Square and activities across London including concerts, plays and sporting activities.

The parade regularly attracts nearly a quarter of a million people, making it one of the largest annual events held in London along with the London Marathon and New Year fireworks. It has become a chance for companies, charities and special interest groups to show their support for the LGBT community. More than 130 groups take part each year, from retail organisations and financial services firms through to the London Fire Brigade. Organisations pay a fee to take part, including extra to have a float in the parade. This money helps cover the cost of the parade and wider festival.

Barclays' involvement

In 2014, after being involved in a lower-tier sponsorship for three previous years, we announced we were to become a major sponsor of Pride in London, committing to become the largest investor in the festival and parade’s history. At this time we had been dialling up our ties to the LGBT community, including becoming the first UK bank to feature a same-sex couple in our advertising, turning a number of our cash machines along the route of the parade into ‘GAYTMs’ (gay ATMS) and introducing ‘Ping for Pride’, allowing anyone with a bank account to donate to Pride in London via the Pingit payment app.

The theme for this year's event is #nofilter and we are proud to be marching again. Indeed, 2016 marks more than 1,000 Barclays employees, families and friends having taken part.

The Pride Festival takes place from 10-26 June. To get involved and find out more about local events visit the Pride in London website.

Keywords: Diversity & Inclusion | Barclays | LGBT+ Community Pride | London | PRIDE Parade | csr

CAMPAIGN: Access to employment

CONTENT: Article