With just two months to go until Brighton Pride, 40,000 tickets have still not been sold.

It is the first time visitors to the Preston Park event have had to pay to attend and just 1,000 tickets have been sold since they went on general release last month.

Ticket sales have slowed in the last few weeks, after nearly 8,000 Sussex residents snapped up early-bird tickets which were only on sale for a limited time to locals.

Bosses have also donated just over 1,000 tickets to community groups and charities.

In total just over 10,000 tickets, of the 51,000 available, have been sold or donated.

Yesterday Pride organisers failed to return calls to The Argus about what the lack of tickets being sold meant for the future of the event.

Although the Preston Park event on August 13 will be on a smaller scale than in previous years, the cost of putting it on has more than doubled to about £550,000.

This is due to extra costs such as the need to pay for security staff and fencing.

About £13,000 worth of tickets have been donated to 25 groups, including Lunch Positive, Allsorts Youth Project, MindOut, Terrence Higgins Trust, The Sussex Beacon, The Gay Elderly Men's Society, LGBT Switchboard and The Sussex ME Society.

Organisers said they were offering the tickets as they wanted to ensure that the event is accessible to all, including those who may be at risk of exclusion or who would find purchasing a ticket difficult.

Pride chairman Russell Allen said: “We have been very pleased with the response from community groups and the feedback we have received. We are committed to supporting the local LGBT community and this is just the first step.”

Organisers announced that they would be charging for this year's event to make it safer for everyone who attends.