Sign Up for Gay Village - New Rainbow Street Signs Launched in Quarter

Sign Up for Gay Village - New Rainbow Street Signs Launched in Quarter

New street signs are going up in Liverpool’s Stanley Street Quarter to show that it is the city’s officially recognised gay village. It will become the UK’s first city to recognise its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) scene in this way.

Signs, which incorporate a rainbow arch to recognise the LGBT community, will be used on Stanley Street, Cumberland Street, Temple Lane, Eberle Street and Temple Street.

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The rainbow motif is a symbol of LGBT pride and social movements that has been in use since the 1970s. The colours reflect the diversity of the community, and the rainbow is often used as a symbol of gay pride in LGBT rights marches.

The first sign will be unveiled at 2 pm on 11 November 2011 outside the Lisbon pub on Stanley Street by the Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Sharon Sullivan, in a ceremony to be attended by representatives of the LGBT communities, local businesses and residents.
Adoption of the new signage follows a wide-ranging consultation involving the community, residents, business owners, the City Council and its partners. It will support the city’s efforts to tap into the potential economic benefits of one of the most diverse quarters in the city centre.

The new signs are one of the first initiatives following the endorsement in August by the City Council’s cabinet of a report by Feria Urbanism to look at developing a vision and identity for the Stanley Street area.

The report recommended that the City Council and other public and private sector organisations support the identity of Stanley Street as the centre of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) scene to enhance and promote both the area and the city as a whole and there should be official recognition of the quarter as Liverpool’s “gay village”.

Councillor Nick Small, city council cabinet member for employment and skills, said: "We need to start unleashing the enormous economic potential of the Stanley Street quarter and as one of the first moves we have to show that this is our gay village. The new signs clearly show that we are recognising where the LGBT scene is based in the city and that it is a very important part of our city life."

Candice Fonseca, proprietor of Delifonseca, said: "As a local business, we are delighted with the new signage which is the first tangible mark of real change to come. By showing visitors to our city where and what the Stanley Street Quarter is, businesses like ours will be able to benefit."

Adam Simpson from the Liverpool LGB&T said: "The Liverpool LGB&T Network are proud to see such a visible indication of the joint work between the community, business and Liverpool City Council. We will continue to work together with the City Council to develop the Stanley Street Quarter into a first rate destination for residents and visitors."

Note to Editors;
The Feria Urbanism report is available to download at http://liverpool.gov.uk/council/strategies-plans-and-policies/transport-...

Among the recommendations in the study are:

  • Consideration should be given to establishing a Community Trust to speak with one voice for the quarter and take it forward. This approach would overcome any conflicts between business interests.
  • Making changes to the design and architecture of Stanley Street including removing or restricting traffic to create space for events.
  • Modifying individual buildings to have greater transparency, visibility and improved access.
  • Demolishing a building to allow a public square to be created which would form the focus of attracting new investment
  • Widening the entertainment offer, which is currently focused on youth and during the night-time, through a number of 'micro events' such as markets, pop-up shops and outdoor art exhibitions. This would attract new users and “increase a sense of quirkiness and culture” in the quarter.
  • Develop links with other cities to share knowledge and ideas
  • Working with existing hotel and new operators to secure a clearly branded 'gay hotel'.

The report argues that moves such as this will help increase feelings of safety and security in the quarter. It lists 48 actions which could be taken in the short, medium and long-term to take forward the proposals.

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