A COMMUNITY centre aimed at supporting the LGBTQ community is one step closer to opening.

The building will promote and support Brighton’s diverse LGBTQ community by providing a safe and accessible space in the heart of the city.

Named after the late James Ledward, a long-time activist and a driving force behind the initiative, the centre is funded by the Brighton Rainbow Fund.

Organisers are now on the verge of acquiring the lease to premises next to the Jubilee Library.

Chris Gull, chairman of Rainbow Fund, said the space was important for supporting the LGBTQ community.

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He said: “The whole community is disproportionately affected by social isolation and loneliness and in turn, mental health issues.

“The benefits that this will bring is that we can bring people together.

“It will also include a community radio station so we can reach people that aren’t online and engage.

“We are trying to get feedback from the community in Brighton and Hove as to what they would like.”

Organisers plan for the space to include a café, an LGBTQ bookshop, an exhibition foyer, studio theatre, meeting room, a cinema, classrooms and office space within the building.

The Argus: Christopher Gull said the LGBTQ space will support the community Christopher Gull said the LGBTQ space will support the community

No date is currently set for its opening.

It comes after Brighton and Hove Pride was awarded £643,100 as part of the government’s culture recovery fund.

The annual Pride weekend draws many thousands of people to the city but was cancelled this year because of the pandemic.

Mariah Carey had been due to headline the 20202 event, playing Pride In The Park on Saturday, August 1.

A total of £1.57 billion has been set aside by the government to support the arts and culture sector.

The community centre is now looking for volunteers to assist in a range of important work ranging from offering legal advice to painting and decorating.

More than 50 people have already signed up to help.

Anyone interested in joining the growing band of volunteers can do so via the survey or by visiting https://ledcen.org.uk.