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Student Pride leaves Brighton
Student Pride is leaving Brighton and Hove after five years with organisers blaming high running costs for the exodus.
The event each February saw students from across the UK come to the city to enjoy the LGBT festival, which for the last two years has been held at the Brighton Dome.
But president of Student Pride Tom Guy said the event has had to ditch the Dome after running costs exceeded £10,000.
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He said one of the problems was the event was charged at a corporate rate by the venue rather than the discounted community event rate despite Student Pride being a not-for-profit company.
Mr Guy said: “The last two events have been held in the council-owned Brighton Dome.
"The move to The Brighton Dome went hand in hand with more students, more corporate companies backing the event and a higher calibre of celebrities and speakers.
"However, with the cost of remaining in Brighton now having become unsustainable due to a number of factors, we have made the decision to move the event to London in 2014.”
He revealed the event would have resulted in a loss had it remained in Brighton whereas a London university had offered to host the daytime events for free.
He added: “It has been a fantastic five years in Brighton and we have grown considerably.
“We started off in Oxford and then Manchester but Brighton is where everything clicked.
“The Dome helped grow our stature but we cannot maintain the debt - the running costs are too high.”
Mr Guy said the move was likely to be a permanent one after unsuccessfully putting his case to the Dome to have reduced rates.
James Ledward, editor of Brighton's G-Scene magazine, said: “It is very disappointing that a city with Brighton's reputation as a destination for LGBT visitors cannot hold onto to an event such as Student Pride.”
Andrew Comben, Chief Executive, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival said: “Over the last few years we've enjoyed a number of Student Pride events at Brighton Dome.
"Although the commercial angle of our conference and events department helps support our own charitable status, we always endeavour to be a flexible and approachable venue when it comes to supporting the local community.
"We host hundreds of community events throughout the year at a reduced venue rate - from Black History Month to Heritage Open Days - and we are saddened to hear Student Pride will no longer to take place in Brighton.”
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