After years of successful fundraising, The Proud Trust is delighted that it has finally started rebuilding its LGBT+ Centre in Manchester’s city centre this week.
Based just off the bustling Oxford Road corridor, the current unassuming community centre has been standing since 1988 and was the first of its kind in the UK, but after three decades of continuous use is no longer able to meet the needs of the growing charity which last year supported over 20,000 people.
Now, following years of fundraising which saw a massive £2.5mn raised from donors including Big Lottery, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, as well as from members of the public, the time has finally come to bid a fond farewell to this life-saving space and begin building its replacement. In its place will stand a three-storey, purpose-built community centre with a vibrant and inclusive community café, alongside a large community room, library, and a city-centre roof garden. The new centre will support LGBT+ people from Manchester and beyond with a wide range of free, inclusive support services and events, just as the old centre has done for over three decades.
Bricks are playing an important theme for this new building, as the same yellow bricks of the old centre will be used to build the library in the new centre, creating a key focal point for heritage and archival materials from the original building. The Trust has also launched a buy-a-brick fundraising campaign with a “wall of pride” being planned for the yellow bricks in the entrance lobby.
Dr Ali Hanbury, LGBT+ Centre Manager, said:
“This year we are laying down bricks in our city, as we did in 1988, to create a safe haven for all
LGBT+ people within our local community. We’re so grateful to all of our donors for helping us to
raise enough money to rebuild our centre so that we can continue to support people for many years
to come. This is another proud moment for Manchester.”
The building work is due to take approximately one year to complete, and City Build – based locally in Salford – is the contractor that will be undertaking the work, with the first brick to be laid soon after the foundations are in place.
“We are proceeding cautiously and with extra care and attention to keeping everyone on-site safe
and well, working within Government and industry guidance” commented Martin Berry, Managing
Director of City Build.
The Proud Trust is looking forward to opening its new doors in 2021, when current social distancing will hopefully be a thing of the past.
“There will definitely be a significant celebration when we’re done. Everyone involved has worked
tirelessly and showed great patience during the delays, so we really do have something to celebrate
To keep up-to-date with the work, or to buy a brick, please visit www.theproudtrust.org