Campaign group aims to open new LGBTQI+ venue

Friends of the Joiners Arms campaigners

Friends of the Joiners Arms campaigners are hoping to open a LGBTQI+ venue by the end of 2022 - Credit: Queer Garden

Campaigners are bidding to open a new LGBTQI+ venue in east London - and are urging people to give their support through a community share offer.

Friends of the Joiners Arms wants to open a space in Tower Hamlets or Hackney and the group said it requires to raise £100,000 to do so.

It intends to use the venue for events and services for "under-served" and "marginalised" members of the LGBTQI+ community.

The group's chair Amy Roberts said the capital has lost many LGBTQI+ spaces which it has been fighting against.

She added that its planned new venue would be in memory of the Joiners Arms, in Hackney Road, which closed in 2015.

"We are so proud to be opening a new queer space and are so grateful to the community for all the support we’ve had so far on our long journey," Amy said.

"But unless we hit our target of selling £100,000 of community shares, we won’t be able to open the venue."

Joiners' Arms in Hackney Road [phorto: Goggle]

The Joiners Arms closed in 2015 - Credit: Google

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The group said it has received grants from Foundation for Future London, Co-Ops UK and the Reach Fund to launch the share sale and open the space.

It is now working with Greater London Authority’s culture and community spaces at risk team to secure a site for five years.

The new venue, which the group hopes to open later this year, would host events such as drag king cabaret shows and film screenings.

A function room would also be used for drop-in events such as housing advice clinics, HIV/AIDS testing and health outreach.

Drag king Prinx Silver backed the planned venue and said: "This new space will provide opportunities for secure employment, for innovative queer performance and culture, and for some of the most marginalised members of our community to socialise, drink and most importantly just ‘be’."

Amy said the group is asking people to pay a minimum of £25 in exchange for community shares, with shareholders able to vote on how the space is run.

Shares will be available to purchase via Crowdfunder until mid August.