Pink Saltire are today announcing the launch of a new initiative to support Scotland’s LGBT Pride organisers – The Scottish Pride Fund.
In a first for Scotland, businesses and organisations will be able to support the whole Pride movement across the country in a bid to ease the financial burden on smaller groups and offer a wider benefit to sponsors.
The launch comes on the same day the charity publishes a new report showing Scotland’s Pride events contributed over £3.8million to the Scottish economy in 2018, with over 52,000 people taking part in a Pride event.
2018 was Scotland’s biggest ever year for Pride events, with 13 taking place between March and October, from Stornoway in the north to Dumfries in the south. The average cost of putting on an event (excluding Pride Glasgow) was £16,000.
The report also highlights an incredible 10,000 hours of voluntary work from hard working volunteers around the country to organise the events in 2018.
Reacting to the news, Pride Edinburgh Chairperson, Brett Herriot, who runs Scotland’s longest running Pride group told us:
“Pride Edinburgh is approaching its 25th anniversary in 2020 and we warmly welcome the Scottish Pride Fund which will support Prides across Scotland. It will allow diversity to shine from the smallest communities to our largest cities. The Pride movement has come far and the work of the Fund will ensure that work is felt right across the country.”
Sponsors are now being invited to get in touch with Pink Saltire to discuss how they could become a supporter, with a new website launching today at scotpride.org with information on how the fund will operate.
Deejay Bullock, who launched the successful Grampian Pride in 2018 with a team of volunteers in the North East, believes the Fund will be a huge benefit for the movement:
“Grampian Pride is delighted to get behind the Pride Fund initiative, which will encourage larger companies to back all Scottish Prides through one donation. This enables all Prides to prosper across the country and our communities to grow.”
Not only will the fund be used to support existing Pride organisers, Pink Saltire will also help other communities get organised and provide funding for new community Pride events with a special Development Fund.
One new event hoping to launch this year is Winter Pride Scotland and the organiser, Scott Ramsay, hopes the Fund will offer a route for fairer distribution of sponsorship across the country:
“Winter Pride Scotland welcomes the launch of the Fund as a great new initiative to help support new and existing Pride events across Scotland. This is an exciting opportunity for companies and brands to really get behind these events and show their support for the LGBT+ community right across the country and not just one particular area.”
Last year, the Conservative UK Government announced an additional £1million for LGBT work in England, with Pride organisers and LGBT groups south of the border able to apply for grants recently. Scottish Government ministers rejected a similar call from Pride organisers in Scotland back in February 2018.
Stuart Duffy, Founder of Pink Saltire, said the charity were proud to bring forward a solution to help Scotland’s blossoming Pride sector:
“When we founded Pink Saltire nearly 5 years ago, we knew that Pride was a critical element in embedding the values we hold dear as a community and in challenging the discriminatory views that still exist in Scotland. That’s why we’ve worked hard with people in Fife, Dundee, Perthshire and other areas across Scotland to get new events started.”
“The more visible LGBT people can be in communities means we challenge the status quo – we take back our right to public spaces, we show solidarity with LGBT people still fighting for their rights and for dignity here in the UK and abroad and most importantly we choose to live our lives openly in our communities.”
“It’s incredible that over 50,000 people directly took part in a Pride event in Scotland last year – this year could be even bigger with more Pride marches than ever before. I think it’s fantastic to see the community coming out, having fun, without any trouble or arrests or huge costs to our local services and showing their pride!”
“We’ve launched the Fund to help take some of the financial pressure off local organisers and to distribute sponsorship more fairly across the country, where sponsors can also get a much bigger return on their sponsorship too.”
The Fund will support Pride organisers to be as inclusive as possible. To be eligible for funding, Pride organisers will need to prove they have an income under £100,000 in the previous year and that their event is free to attend.